Louisiana is now leading the nation in new cases of coronavirus: report
AFP photo of a coronavirus patient.

Louisiana is experiencing a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases and is now the country's worst COVID-19 hot spot.

"The tsunami of new coronavirus cases washing over Louisiana in a fourth wave of the pandemic has once again left the state with the most severe outbreak in the country," The Times-Picayune reports. "The delta variant of the disease has found fertile ground in Louisiana, which has among the worst vaccination rates in the U.S., leading to a surge that so far appears on track to outpace any that came before it."

Only 40%% of Louisiana's population has received at least one vaccine shot, according to CDC numbers.

"Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University, says "It's all unnecessary."

She warned of a sharp spike in new cases, but one that could dissipate quickly.

"In places where people are not masking and going out and still going to the bars and all that kind of stuff, living their normal life, the virus is going to burn through those populations pretty quickly because it's going to be spreading like a proverbial wildfire," Hassig said.

But she did note one model showed the state's surge lasting until the fall.