The delta variant is a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus that was first detected in India in late 2020. It has since spread to more than 180 countries and become the dominant variant in many regions, including the United States.The delta variant is estimated to be about twice as transmissible as the original virus and may cause more severe illness and hospitalization. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of the delta variant and how they may differ from the original COVID-19 symptoms.
How do the symptoms of the delta variant differ from the original COVID-19 symptoms?
According to a study by the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, which is a mobile app that collects data from users who report their symptoms and test results, the symptoms of the delta variant may vary from the original COVID-19 symptoms. The study found that the most common symptoms reported by people infected with the delta variant in the UK were:
• Sore throat
• Runny nose
These symptoms are similar to those of a common cold or flu, and may be less likely to raise suspicion of COVID-19. In contrast, the most common symptoms reported by people infected with the original virus in the UK were:
• Loss of smell
• Shortness of breath
These symptoms are more distinctive and indicative of COVID-19. However, the study also noted that the overall range of symptoms for COVID-19 has not changed, and that any of the known symptoms could still occur with either variant. Therefore, it is important to watch out for all the possible signs of COVID-19, including:
• Fever or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• Loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
How can you tell if you have the delta variant?
The only way to confirm if you have the delta variant or any other variant of COVID-19 is to get tested. A PCR test, which is a type of molecular test that detects the genetic material of the virus, can identify which variant you have by analyzing its mutations. However, PCR tests may take longer to process and may not be widely available in some areas. A rapid antigen test, which is a type of test that detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus, can tell you if you have COVID-19, but not which variant you have. However, rapid antigen tests may be faster and more accessible in some areas.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested as soon as possible and isolate yourself until you get your results. You should also contact your health care provider and follow their advice. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should inform your close contacts and follow the public health guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
How can you protect yourself from the delta variant?
The best way to protect yourself from the delta variant and any other variant of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized or approved in the United States are safe and effective against severe illness and death from COVID-19, including from the delta variant. However, no vaccine is 100% effective, and breakthrough infections can still occur in vaccinated people. Therefore, it is important to continue to follow other preventive measures, such as:
- Wearing a mask when indoors or in crowded settings where you cannot maintain physical distance from others.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Staying home if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Seeking medical attention if you have trouble breathing or other signs of severe illness.
The delta variant is a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus that may cause different symptoms than the original virus. The most common symptoms reported by people infected with the delta variant are headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever. However, any of the known symptoms of COVID-19 could still occur with either variant. The only way to confirm if you have the delta variant or any other variant of COVID-19 is to get tested. The best way to protect yourself from the delta variant and any other variant of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and follow other preventive measures.
1. What is the Delta variant of COVID-19?
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is a highly contagious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. It was first identified in India and has since spread to many parts of the world.
2. Are the symptoms of the Delta variant different from the original COVID-19 strain?
The symptoms of the Delta variant are similar to those of the original strain. However, some studies suggest that individuals infected with the Delta variant may experience more severe symptoms, such as a higher likelihood of hospitalization, compared to earlier strains.
3. What are the common symptoms of the Delta variant?
Common symptoms of the Delta variant include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell (anosmia), headache, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, and runny nose. Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and nausea have also been reported.
4. Are there any unusual symptoms associated with the Delta variant?
Some reports suggest that symptoms like severe abdominal pain and confusion may be more common with the Delta variant, but these can occur with other strains as well.
5. Can you have the Delta variant without symptoms (asymptomatic)?
Yes, like other variants, Delta can infect individuals who do not show any symptoms (asymptomatic). This is one of the reasons it can spread easily in communities.
6. Are the symptoms of the Delta variant the same in all age groups?
Symptoms of the Delta variant can vary among age groups. While many symptoms are similar across all age groups, older individuals and those with underlying health conditions may be at a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
7. How can I differentiate between COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant and other respiratory illnesses like the flu or a common cold?
It can be challenging to differentiate between these illnesses based solely on symptoms, as they can overlap. Testing for COVID-19, including genomic sequencing to identify the variant, is the most reliable way to confirm if you have the Delta variant.
8. What should I do if I experience symptoms of COVID-19, including those associated with the Delta variant?
If you experience symptoms such as fever, cough, or loss of taste or smell, it is important to get tested for COVID-19 and follow local health guidelines. Isolate yourself from others until you receive test results.
9. Is vaccination effective against the Delta variant?
Vaccination remains one of the most effective ways to protect against severe illness and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant. Fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to experience severe symptoms if they contract the Delta variant.
10. Should I be concerned about the Delta variant even if I’m fully vaccinated?
While vaccination offers strong protection against the Delta variant, breakthrough infections can still occur. However, these cases are generally less severe than in unvaccinated individuals. Continue to follow local health guidelines and stay informed about the latest recommendations
Please note that the information regarding COVID-19 and its variants is continually evolving, so it’s essential to refer to reliable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most up-to-date information and guidance.