What You Need To Know About Breakthrough Covid-19 Cases
Thanks to the Delta Variant, COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise across most of the US. Even states with high vaccination rates are beginning to see some positive COVID cases in individuals who have been vaccinated. While these ‘breakthrough’ cases are still considered rare, scientists worry that the number of breakthrough cases may continue to rise as the highly transmittable Delta variant continues to spread.
Why Is Delta Causing Breakthrough Cases?
One thing that not everyone has been aware of, is that while the vaccine can help ward off catching COVID-19, that is not necessarily its purpose. The overall goal of the vaccine is not actually to prevent illness, but to reduce its severity.
While there is evidence that the vaccines were better able to prevent infection with previous strains of the virus, Delta is putting up a much stronger fight. In fact, the reason Delta has caused such a spike in cases is due to it’s higher transmissibility. Delta has shown to replicate up to 1,000 times more of the virus than previous strains. This means that, while the vaccine may be able to prevent a vaccinated individual from being hospitalized, they may still get sick with mild symptoms.
Currently, the rate of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals is still relatively low. However, reporting from breakthrough cases is not widely done. Most of the data available for breakthrough cases is for those who have been hospitalized. Those who are ill and quarantined at home are not necessarily accounted for, leading many to believe the number of breakthrough cases is actually much higher than what is being reported.
Symptoms of a Breakthrough COVID-19 Case
As we mentioned, generally symptoms of breakthrough COVID cases are much more mild than they would be for an unvaccinated person. The most important thing to remember about breakthrough COVID symptoms is that they may be a lot less ‘typical’ than what many experienced last year. Even more, Delta seems to come with a slightly different set of symptoms as it is. Generally, many breakthrough Delta Covid cases might actually feel more like a cold.
Here Are Common Breakthrough Delta COVID Symptoms:
- Runny Nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches and pains
What you may notice missing from this list is the lack of lost taste and smell. You may also notice that the above symptoms could easily be confused for seasonal allergies or the common cold. Because these symptoms can be so less severe, it is always good practice to get tested if you are feeling sick.
How To Protect Yourself From the Delta Variant
While scientists continue to encourage the vaccines as the best protection against COVID-19, you may still want to wear your mask. Despite being vaccinated, if you do contract the coronavirus, you can still pass it on to others. In fact, it is now known that infected vaccinated individuals may pass along the same amount of the virus as unvaccinated people.
To make sure you have the optimal protection for yourself and those around you, wear your face mask when out in public or when social distancing may not be possible.
The Top Masks to Protect Against Delta
When it comes to preventing a breakthrough infection of the virus, we recommend choosing an KN95, 3 Ply, or N95 Face Masks. While reusable cloth masks are popular, they do not provide the same level of protection as a KN95, N95, or 3 Ply face masks.
Here Are our Top Face Masks To Protect Against The Delta COVID Variant:
1. KN95 Face Masks
KN95 masks grew in popularity during the height of the pandemic due to the N95 Mask shortage. Although KN95 masks are not inherently FDA approved, the FDA did release a ‘WhiteList” of Kn95 face masks that were approved for emergency medical settings.
We reach for KN95 masks for a variety of reasons. They are made to meet international standards for safety and provide the same level of protection as an N95, without the high price tag and with a more comfortable fit. They offer 4 or 5 layers of protection and a filtration rate of up to 99% against viruses and other common allergens .3 microns or larger.
When it comes to fit, KN95 face masks offer a comfortable, but tight fit around the face to prevent air leakage in and around the mask. They typically feature a moldable nose bridge for a customizable fit and have soft ear loops that can be worn for hours at a time without discomfort.
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2. N95 Face Masks
While N95 masks were not an option for most during the height of the pandemic, they are much more readily available now. N95 masks are always manufactured in the United States and made to meet the US level standards for safety. They typically offer 4 layers of protection and offer a filtration rate of up to 99% against virus particles .3 microns or larger.
When it comes to fit, N95 face masks typically offer a more rigid fit than an KN95 mask might. They usually will have loops that secure around the back of the head instead of the ears. They offer a modlable nose bridge and a tight fit on the face to prevent excess leakage in and around the mask.
Shop N95 Face Masks here.
2. 3 Ply Face Masks
3 Ply face masks are some of the most common masks we see out in public. They offer a looser fit that is comfortable to be worn for extended periods of time. 3 Ply face masks are constructed with 3 layers of protection with a filtration rate of 95% against particles 3 microns or larger.
When it comes to fit, 3 Ply masks sit slightly looser to the face than an KN95 or N95 masks might, have comfortable ear loops and a moldable nose bridge for a customizable fit.
Shop 3 Ply Face Masks here.
The Bottom Line
At this point in the pandemic, we understand that mask fatigue is a real thing and everyone wants life to go back to our pre pandemic level or normality. However, we aren’t there yet. Whether you choose to get the vaccine or not, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you from infection is to continue to wear your face mask when around others.
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