The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning that "the war has changed" amid the outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and vaccinated individuals being capable of spreading the virus.
NBC News reports the message was included in an internal presentation explaining findings, some considered preliminary, on the dangers brought upon by the Delta variant, which is currently spiking in numerous states.
The document obtained by NBC News and initially published by the Washington Post explains the CDC's recent mask guidance announced earlier this week and concludes that the Delta variant is "highly contagious, likely to be more serve" than previous known strains of the coronavirus and that “breakthrough infections may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases.”
Researchers have looked into a viral load -- how much of the virus is present in infected individuals' bodies -- to determine which can affect transmissibility and severity.
According to the report, infections with the Delta variant can lead to higher levels of virus in the body, which may include fully vaccinated individuals reaching similar levels to unvaccinated people, even if they don't get as sick.
Additionally, the higher levels are believed to last longer than cases of previous strains.
“I think we still largely are in a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday (July 27) while announcing the CDC's new mask guidance. “The vast majority of transmission, the vast majority of severe disease, hospitalization and death is almost exclusively happening among unvaccinated people.”