Politics

Delta Variant Symptoms Different, More Like Common Cold


For younger people, a case of the covid-19 delta variant can feel a lot like the common cold, according to Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Zoe Covid Symptom study in the U.K.

The highly contagious delta variant is spreading fast across the world and has forced governments including the U.S. to consider putting plans on hold to reopen parts of the economy. The delta variant has been detected in more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is the most dominant variant in the U.S. and accounts for more than half of all new covid-19 cases.

Doctors say the delta variant is more difficult to diagnose than earlier variants because its presentation does not follow the most common covid-19  symptoms.

Instead of the loss of taste and smell, which is often a tell-tale covid-19 symptom, delta variant patients mostly experience nasal congestion, throat pain and headache during the initial stages of infection.

“People have some sort of the common cold and still go out partying and they can spread it to around six other people. We think this is fuelling a lot of problems,” said Prof Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London.

“The message is if you are younger, you will get milder symptoms. It might just feel like a funny ‘off’ feeling, but do stay at home and get a test,” Spector said.

The covid symptom study was created by doctors and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Stanford University School of Medicine and King’s College London, working with health science company Zoe.

Other symptoms of the delta variant include vomiting, stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, stomach pain, loss of appetite, joint pain and hearing loss.

Health experts say that this variant is hitting the unvaccinated, causing a surge in infections and hospitalizations. Unvaccinated people with the variant are more likely to have complications and need oxygen.

Since these symptoms are not specific to covid-19, most people brush them off as allergies or just a minor cold.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says the best way to protect yourself against the delta variant is to get vaccinated. All the three available vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, offer protection.

However, experts say the vaccines are not 100-percent effective against this variant, meaning some breakthrough cases are possible among the fully vaccinated.

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