KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Kansas City Health Department reports cases of COVID-19 have tripled in the past 30 days, mostly due to the Delta variant.

This is not a surprise to a microbiologist working for the state of Missouri. Marc Johnson predicted this.

Johnson studies wastewater and the viral loads Missourians flush down toilets. It’s been one of the most accurate predictors in the pandemic.

Johnson pinpointed that the first place the Delta variant was detected was in Branson. It then travelled to Licking, Missouri and Lynn County.

The variant did not behave the same way earlier variants did. In fact, just the opposite. While the UK, or Alpha, variant started in big cities then moved to rural areas, the Delta started in rural areas and moved to cities.

"It is just so highly contagious,” said Johnson. “It seems that it took over pretty much the whole state about in about three weeks.”

Numbers were updated over the weekend. A red triangle means the viral load is growing

gfx virus maps 3.jpg

In Kansas City, you can get information down to each watershed. Westside, Kansas City, Birmingham, Liberty and Fishing River are all increasing

gfx virus charts 1.jpg

The only areas staying flat are North, Platte City, Todd Creek and Rocky Branch.

gfx virus maps 2.jpg

“Once it starts, it just has been rising,” said Johnson. “Places it was first were like Joplin and Springfield and, the last time I checked, their numbers are still going up. They haven't reached a plateau yet.”

Johnson draws attention to Columbia, Missouri, in Boone County. It boasts the highest vaccination rate in the state, but that area is also struggling with the Delta variant.

“I think the message that not everyone is getting is that this pandemic is going to be over when everyone has either been infected or vaccinated,” said Johnson.

While other variants have fizzled out, Johnson said the delta variant just keeps spreading.

KCTV5.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<


Copyright 2021 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.