'If you're unvaccinated, it will find you:' Experts warn about dangerous strain of COVID-19

NOW: ’If you’re unvaccinated, it will find you:’ Experts warn about dangerous strain of COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As COVD-19 cases in our area surge and the delta variant spreads, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated.

Doctors say the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and it is spreading faster and making people sicker than other strains of COVID-19.

"It's [the delta variant] able to bind to the cells in our nasal passages and our lungs more tightly and as a result someone who gets infected is more capable of pumping out a lot more virus," said Dr. Ajay Sethi, associate professor of population health sciences at UW-Madison.

Pumping out more virus means spreading more virus to the people around you.

"If somebody picks up the virus from one of those individuals, they might be getting a much bigger dose of virus to begin with and that might be what's causing individuals to be more sick," Dr. Sethi said.

Experts say vaccines are the answer.

"It's [the vaccine] well studied, well researched, very safe, highly recommended," said Dr. Dimmy Sokhal, a clinical pharmacist at Hayat Pharmacy.

While it's still possible to contract the virus, being vaccinated could be what saves your life.

"Overwhelmingly, none of those individuals end up in the hospital or having worse outcomes, because their immune system does kick in because of vaccination," Dr. Sethi said.

Hayat Pharmacy is seeing an uptick in people getting the shot because of the delta variant.

"I think there is panic about the delta mutant or mutants in general and the spread that's happening in general," Dr. Sokhal said. "There's people coming in for first doses and I'm happy they are. It's not something they should be hesitant or shy about."

Dr. Sethi says people infected with the delta variant could spread it to a dozen or more people and also encourages everyone to get vaccinated.

"If you're unvaccinated, it [delta variant] will find you," Dr. Seith said.

Experts say vaccinations will also prevent future and potentially even more dangerous variants from forming.

Already, some parts of the world are seeing the delta-plus variant.

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