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Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci testify before the Senate, July 20, 2021, United States | Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / Agência EFE / Gazeta do Povo

The delta variant of Covid-19 appears to cause more serious illness and is as contagious as chickenpox, according to a US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report released by US media.

The Washington Post newspaper published this internal CDC document according to which people who have completed the Covid-19 vaccination can transmit the delta variant just as much as those who are not vaccinated.

“People need to understand that we are not setting off a false alarm,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky told US broadcaster CNN. She added that “it is one of the most contagious viruses known” and that it is “comparable” to “measles or chickenpox”.

The CDC is expected to release information on Friday in support of its decision to change recommendations that have been given to people who have received the Covid-19 vaccine, such as returning to wearing masks indoors.

Contagion of delta variants

The CDC document shows the agency recognizes it needs to tailor its messages to the population, stressing that vaccination is the best defense “against a variant so contagious that it almost acts as if it were a new and different virus “, informs the” Post “.

The document also points out that the strain passes from person to person faster than Ebola, a cold, seasonal flu and measles and is as contagious as chickenpox.

This week, there has been a daily average of 71,000 new cases of covid-19, and data from health agencies indicates that those who have been vaccinated transmit the virus, although apparently to a lesser degree than those who are unvaccinated.