COVID-19 cases have been rising across the state. Oklahoma is now ranked 11th in the nation for the highest rate of new cases.
This has doctors sounding the alarm once again for people to get the vaccine. Their concern is if we don’t vaccinate more people, it will give the virus more opportunities to mutate. They have said we have seen that happen with the Delta variant which they predict will become the predominant strain in the state.
"I just want to keep highlighting that COVID-19 is a pandemic,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health’s Chief COVID-19 Officer. “It is a public health emergency. It doesn't respect borders, demographics or beliefs it is a public health issue."
Bratzler said he is most concerned with the Delta and Delta Plus variants.
"And it is even more contagious than the Delta variant that we are dealing with,” said Bratzler.
Officials said the typical symptoms of COVID-19 aren't the same with the Delta variant.
With the original virus the most common symptoms were fever, cough and loss of taste and smell, but with the Delta variant the most common are headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever.
"In the U.S. right now, it accounts for more than 20% of all the new cases,” said Bratzler. “But in parts of Missouri it accounts for more than 50% of the new cases."
Some health officials said they are concerned if cases continue to rise and variants spread, we could see masks and some mask mandates make a comeback.