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Delta variant presence grows in Costa Rica

Data shared by Costa Rican authorities on Monday indicates a growing presence of the Delta coronavirus variant within the national territory.

As part of its ongoing genomic vigilance, the Institute for Nutrition and Health Research (INCIENSA) in recent weeks has studied virus samples from 72 people who tested positive for Covid-19. Of those:

  • 21 (29%) had the Delta variant.
  • 14 (19%) had the Gamma variant.
  • 6 (8%) had the Alpha variant.
  • 1 (1%) had the Beta variant.

INCIENSA has also identified the Lambda variant in Costa Rica, it announced Monday.

The samples analyzed by INCIENSA are meant to be representative of the national Covid-19 situation.

“Vaccination continues to mean a significant reduction in the risk of being hospitalized, including with the Delta variant,” Health Minister Daniel Salas said when the variant was first identified in Costa Rica last month.

Costa Rica isn’t changing health measures or recommendations in the face of Delta or other variants, though Salas acknowledged that its high transmissibility may mean continued high case counts.

“Delta continues to be the same form of transmission, so we maintain the same recommendations,” he said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. But they are not 100% effective and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides them strong protection against serious illness and death.

Covid-19 hospitalizations in Costa Rica have held steady over recent weeks.

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