LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The delta variant is spreading faster in Arkansas, as health experts predicted, and one of the state’s top doctors is warning young people in particular about it.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson says we could be seeing the start of a third wave of COVID-19.

Partly because the younger population has been getting vaccinated at much lower rates than older people.

While it’s true that people in their 20s and 30s are less likely to develop severe cases of the original strain of the virus, the delta variant is hitting them hard, even those without underlying issues.

“No one is bulletproof from COVID-19,” Patterson said. “This is not losing your sense of smell and a bad case of flu. This is immediately coming into the hospital and being put on a ventilator.”

Doctor Patterson says the delta variant makes up about a quarter of all cases in Arkansas and predicts that as early as next week, it’ll make up half.

That’s because it’s almost twice as easy to spread it to other people as the original strain of the virus.