LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

1st Delta Variant Case Confirmed in Area

June 25, 2021

delta variant graphic

The Precision Medicine Lab at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine has identified the first Delta variant COVID case in Region 1 of Louisiana, which includes the New Orleans metropolitan area. In partnership with Ochsner Medical Center, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and BIE, LSU Health’s Precision Medicine Lab, a joint operation of the Department of Genetics led by Dr. Lucio Miele and the Department of Pathology led by Dr. Gordon Love, is sequencing samples provided by Ochsner investigators led by Dr. Amy Feehan and LDH to identify variants circulating in Louisiana.

About a dozen cases from the Delta variant have been identified statewide, with many more presumptive cases. The CDC estimates that this variant is responsible for about 25% of cases in Region 6, which includes Louisiana.

The Delta variant was recently named as a Variant of Concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) The CDC defines a variant of concern as a variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.

A recent study reported that the effectiveness of both doses of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant was 88%. One dose was 33% effective.

“Although we suspected that the variant has been circulating in our area for some time now, having confirmation should encourage people to get vaccinated as soon as possible so they can be fully protected,” notes Dr. Miele.

LSU Health New Orleans, along with its partners, administers the Pfizer vaccine. Hours for the LSU Health New Orleans COVID vaccination clinic are posted each week at

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with branch campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or

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