Local health experts weigh in on Delta variant

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Local health experts weighed in on the COVID-19 Delta surge that is currently hitting our nation and the High Plains on the Coronavirus special called Coronavirus: Facts Not Fear The Delta Surge.

Compared to last year, the city was reporting only 50 new cases between Potter and Randall.

There were also only 457 active cases and 83 total deaths.

While currently there are more than 3,500 active cases and the death toll has risen to 813 between Potter and Randall Counties.

Dr. Todd Bell, Amarillo public health authority said this time is different. They are also seeing more pediatric cases this time around.

“So we saw that last year that kids were very rarely coming up positive, we currently had cases, we had hospital admissions. But nothing like we are seeing this year,” said Dr. Bell.

Dr. Bell added that with kids starting school again, it is important to get them vaccinated if they are eligible.

“The average kiddo in school has 50 encounters with other people per day, now that’s compared to the average adult who has about nine who has encounters per day with folks. The kids need to get vaccinated again to protect themselves as well as to protect others,” said Dr. Bell.

Chief Medical Officer with Northwest Texas Hospital Dr. Brian Weis said with the FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine, this could help with vaccine hesitancy.

“I think the fact the FDA granted approval for the Pfizer vaccine is a testament to that we now have the data we need to say these look really safe and are incredibly effective and I’m hoping that will knock that barrier down for people to consider the vaccine,” said Dr. Weis.

Dr. Weis also warned about using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

“In order to achieve the concentration in that petri dish that stopped that virus from growing, it would take 50 times the normal therapeutic dose of ivermectin in people. That is a toxic dose of that drug,” added Dr. Weis.

Earlier this month, the city raised its COVID-19 status level from status level orange to status level red.

Dr. Weis added that the COVID-19 vaccines are less responsive to the Delta variant, but he said nonetheless still effective against the virus.

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