Delta variant may be as contagious as chickenpox, according to internal CDC documents


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NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Following this week’s CDC recommendations to mask-up in high or substantial transmission areas, Governor Ralph Northam said in a tweet that all Virginians should consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings.

He emphasized that this mask-wearing is not a requirement, but a recommendation.

Dr. David Goodfriend with the Loudoun county health department says we’re not dealing with the same pandemic.

“From what the CDC says and we’re waiting to hear from the Virginia department of health for their guidance or what the governor says is, it makes sense because really we’re dealing with a different pandemic now,” said Dr. Goodfriend.

A graph, originally created by the New York Times last year, shows internal CDC documents acquired from the Washington Post of how infectious and lethal the delta variant is in comparison to other diseases. The coronavirus mutation is considered as infectious as chickenpox. You can find the graph by clicking here.

“Chickenpox is a type of infection.,” said Dr. Goodfriend. “It’s an airborne infection. So, if somebody is in a room, anywhere in a room with chickenpox, and you have not yet had the chickenpox, you’re at risk”

Chairman Jeffery McKay with Fairfax County says he’s expecting an announcement in the near future regarding a mask mandate.

“We in Fairfax County will follow, as we always have, CDC guidance and any direction from the governor,” said McKay. “And I would suspect that in the days and weeks ahead there may be more announcements about that.”

The CDC internal document data also shows the delta variant may be infectious for longer about 18 days compared to ancestral strains at 13 days, meaning quarantine periods could be longer.

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