MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) shares the US Center for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (US CDC) findings that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is as transmissible as chicken pox.

In an online media briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the US CDC made a study about common transmissible diseases which have the same features as the Delta variant (B1617.2).

The study included bird flu, Ebola, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), seasonal flu, polio, measles, and chicken pox in one graph.

“‘Yung graph po nakapagpakita na ‘yung mga sakit na talagang mabilis kumalat (The graph showed the diseases which spread easily) and they are now comparing the Delta variant spread or transmissibility with the chicken pox transmissibility,” she said.

The graph indicated that chicken pox can infect up to eight persons in just one sitting.

“So, with this kind of analysis, yes, we agree to that and nasa ebidensiya naman po talaga na ang (there is evidence that) Delta variant po is highly transmissible compared to the UK variant which infects only four to five persons. But the Delta variant can infect up to eight persons with the interaction of just one person,” Vergeire said.

The World Health Organization described the Delta variant as the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet – “picking off” the most vulnerable individuals especially in areas with low vaccination rates.

Although vaccinated people rarely get serious breakthrough infections, they can transmit the virus as easily as unvaccinated people, the CDC said.

“Though the vaccines are still 90 percent effective in preventing severe illness against the Delta variant, they are likely less effective in preventing infection or transmission,” the study indicated.

First detected in India, the Delta variant has spread to 85 countries.

So far, the Philippines has confirmed 119 Delta variant cases. (PNA)