Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: What is viral load and why does it matter?

Simply put, viral load is how much of the virus you have in your body. The more the virus has replicated, the higher your viral load will be, and the more infectious you likely are. The more virus you have in your airways, the more you will release when you exhale or cough, as you are experiencing more “viral shedding.” Researchers have found that the Delta variant contains 1,000 times more viral material than the original novel coronavirus, which means it can replicate much faster and infect more people at a faster rate. Getting vaccinated is your best protection, even for those who have had COVID-19.

Learn more about viral load