After extensive research over the last few months, experts have concluded symptoms of the COVID-19 delta variant are different than the original COVID-19 strain. The highly contagious delta variant is the latest major COVID-19 concern throughout the world due to its easily spreadable nature and the difficulty to diagnose it. While the loss of taste and smell was the main symptom associated with COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, the delta variant has much more vague symptoms than that of the original virus variant.
The delta variant was first discovered in India, which had a significant outbreak. It then spread rapidly to the United Kingdom, which delayed their reopening plans. As of now, The U.K. is expected to fully reopen on July 19. However, Japan declared a new state of emergency, barring fans from attending the Tokyo Olympics which start in just a couple of weeks.
Diagnosis of the delta variant is difficult due to it being so similar to Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is also increasing in cases throughout the world. The symptoms are almost identical to each other, both of which come with sore throats and runny noses. When the common cold and flu join the fray in the fall and winter, it could become even more difficult to detect.
“Clinicians are going to have to think through that. They’re going to have to have the testing. They need to distinguish these viruses and make sure it’s not COVID because it’s going to get confusing with a lot of things circulating in the community,” Dr. David Priest, infectious disease specialist with Norvant Health said.
According to the CDC, the Delta Variant makes up 30.4 percent of all active COVID-19 cases in the United States. Experts say the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all protect against the delta variant, although nothing is 100 percent effective.
“We are optimistic about numbers they’re going in the right direction, but we still have COVID in our community, we still have variants in our community that can easily spread. For those people who are not vaccinated need to get vaccinated and, in the meantime, continue to take all of the precautions to prevent further spread,” Dr. Meg Sullivan said.
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