KEY POINTS

  • Delta infections rise quickly but also recede just as fast: Larry Brilliant
  • A recession in infections has already been felt in the U.K. and India
  • Some Southern states experiencing a “déjà vu” of 2020’s catastrophic health crisis
  • The U.S. remains the hardest-hit in the world, with more than 35 million confirmed cases

A World Health Organization (WHO) expert said the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads so fast that it runs out of people to infect, but also warned that while infections could decline just as fast as the infections increase, “there may be more to come.”

Epidemiology expert Larry Brilliant explained that based on models of Delta variant outbreaks in New York and San Francisco, the variant is spreading in “an inverted V-shape epidemic curve.” He told CNBC that the models suggest Delta infections are increasing fast, but the infections will also decline very quickly.

Brilliant’s projection of the variant’s spreading, if it turns out to be true, means that the virus continues to spread so fast that “it basically runs out of candidates” to infect, but it will also start receding following high records of infection.

There have already been apparent scenarios of Delta infection recessions in India and the United Kingdom. India peaked at more than 390,000 COVID-19 cases in May, but as of late June, cases have remained below 50,000. In the U.K., there were around 47,700 infections, but come July 29, there were only about 26,000 confirmed cases.

Brilliant, who was part of the WHO team that worked on smallpox, said that based on the Delta variant’s recent activity, the probability of a “super variant” evolving is low, although it could not be ruled out. He added that the Delta’s activity could be as short as “a six-month phenomenon in a country, rather than a two-year phenomenon” due to its quick spreading and quick recession.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 situation in some Southern states has started to frustrate healthcare workers as they begin to see a repeat of history from last year’s devastating pandemic situation, CNN reported. Chief of Staff at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Varon, said “this is a déjà vu of what we had last year,” adding that it was “preventable” but some people “are not doing the right thing.”

The U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 new cases daily, marking the highest numbers in the hard-hit country in the last six months. Some 50.1% of the total American population has been fully vaccinated, recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.

So far, the United States remains the hardest-hit country in the world. Data from Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country has logged 35,762,751 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday. The U.S. has also recorded 616,827 deaths linked to the disease. India follows behind with nearly 32 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 427,000 deaths.

A surge in the highly transmissible Delta variant has brought a slew of bad news to the US: total daily new cases have surged to 118,000, their highest since February; and deaths are up 89 percent over the past two weeks A surge in the highly transmissible Delta variant has brought a slew of bad news to the US: total daily new cases have surged to 118,000, their highest since February; and deaths are up 89 percent over the past two weeks Photo: AFP / Patrick T. FALLON