Internal CDC Document Says Delta Variant Is as Transmissible as Chickenpox

The internal document, a 25-page slideshow presentation, also states that the Delta variant is more transmissible than smallpox and the seasonal flu.


Image via Getty/Jessica McGowan


An internal document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the Delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox.

First spotted by and reported on by the Washington Post on Thursday night, the CDC document in question is a 25-page side presentation pointing to the still-growing concerns around the variant as roughly half of the U.S. remains unvaccinated.

The internal document cites data as showing that the Delta variant is more transmissible than MERS & SARS, Ebola, the common cold, seasonal flu and 1918 flu, and smallpox. According to the same document, which a CDC rep has confirmed to Complex is authentic, the Delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox.

Deeper into the document, “next steps” are outlined for the agency, including acknowledging “the war has changed,” as well as improving the general public’s understanding of breakthrough infections and bettering communications surrounding the risks that remain even when vaccinated.

Per multiple reports, the contents of the internal document are expected to be published for the public later on Friday. CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky has also already addressed the document’s content, telling CNN she wishes the public would “understand that we’re not crying wolf here.”

As of July 29, 49.4 percent of the total U.S. population—or just under 164 million people—were fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated means the risk of sever disease or death is reduced 10-fold or greater, per the most recent data. Vaccination also reduces the risk of infection three-fold.

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