The Delta variant, the UK’s most widely established Covid strain could be behind more people reporting cold-like symptoms.
Headaches, sore throat, runny noses – These are the most common symptoms of the delta variant, the strain first detected in India, according to researchers, The Guardian reported.
The data was collected as part of the app-based Zoe Covid symptom study. The project which began at the start of the pandemic has been tracking people's symptoms throughout and experts believe the virus is acting differently now.
Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, who is leading the work said, “Covid is … acting differently now, it’s more like a bad cold.”
Spector said people think they have seasonal cold and still go out to parties, which might be causing the problem.
Fever, cough and loss of smell or taste are the classic Covid symptoms, according to the NHS. However, with the Delta variant, a cough appears to be the fifth most common symptom, and the loss of smell doesn’t make the top 10, Spector said.
How do the symptoms differ from cold and original variant?
According to data, the Delta variant is at least 40 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant and appears to double the risk of hospitalisation. The vaccines are also somewhat less effective, particularly after one dose.
Two-thirds of the population in UK are still not protected by vaccines against symptomatic infection from the Delta variant, The Guardian reported. While high numbers of the elderly population are fully vaccinated, the younger adults are still either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.
According to data collected, cases are higher and increasing faster in the unvaccinated population. Cases have increased the most in the 20-29 age group, and the 0-19 age group follows closely behind.
"The message here is that if you’re young and getting milder symptoms any way, it might just feel like a bad cold or some funny feeling … do stay at home and do get a test,” Spector said.
(With inputs from The Guardian.)