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Doctor says getting vaccinated is best way to avoid catching new, highly contagious variant

The delta variant is said to be more aggressive and leads to more severe symptoms and illness.

INDIANAPOLIS — The delta variant is here.  

There were 98 Indiana cases at last count, according to state health officials, and it's largely impacting young adults here and across the country. 

We asked Dr. Samina Bhumbra, part of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Riley Hospital for Children, why younger people are catching the delta variant the most. 

“Usually, the reason that younger individuals are getting the variant is because they’re less likely to be vaccinated. That really goes hand-in-hand in a lot of ways,” said Bhumbra. 

We also asked Bhumbra why health professionals are so concerned about this variant. 

“One, because it is more contagious, but two, it leads to more severe symptoms, more severe illness and actually, it’s more aggressive at causing these symptoms. It happens over a shorter period of time,” Bhumbra said. 

So what’s the best way to protect yourself from the delta variant? 

“As more people become vaccinated, the less likely it is for individuals to spread the virus, if they have, if there’s a cocoon of protection in the community,” said Bhumbra. 

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Marion County health officials have stressed they hope to have 50 percent of the population vaccinated by July 4. Right now, Indiana’s most populated county is at 39 percent. Bhumbra hopes more people will get in line. 

“I know it feels sometimes this way, but the pandemic isn’t over yet. It’s still around us, and we’re still dealing with it every day here in the hospital," she said.

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