The Rise of Delta

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The Delta variant of the coronavirus is threatening to put the world in an entirely new stage of the pandemic.

First discovered in India in March, the variant is now spreading fast — it is thought to be around 50 percent more transmissible than previous versions.

Current vaccines protect against Delta, but they may come too late for countries with slow vaccination drives.

What can be done to stop Delta, and how will the variant hamper global efforts to return to normalcy?

On today’s episode

Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of the “Matter” column for The New York Times.

Background reading

Vaccines are driving down coronavirus case numbers in the U.S., but it’s unclear whether Delta will reverse that trend. Here’s what scientists know about it.

Conflicting advice from the health authorities about masks has bewildered a worried public.

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Transcripts of each episode are available by the next workday. You can find them at the top of the page.

Carl Zimmer contributed reporting.

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