The delta variant
The COVID-19 strain fueling infections across the U.K. is linked to a different set of symptoms, including headache, sore throat, and runny nose, BBC reported on Monday. The Delta variant, which was first found in India, now accounts for 90 percent of U.K. cases.
Professor Tim Spector, leader of the Zoe COVID Symptom Study, said top symptoms since the start of May are "not the same as they were" previously. Instead of the traditional cough, fever, and loss of taste and smell, infected individuals are now complaining of headache, sore throat, and runny nose, with fever and cough coming in fourth and fifth, respectively. Loss of smell doesn't even make the top 10, The Guardian writes.
Spector added that the Delta variant seems to be working "slightly differently," and that possible COVID-19 infection could feel "just like a bad cold or some funny 'off' feeling." As the new strain is reportedly more contagious and more likely to lead to hospitalizations, Spector urged the two-thirds of the U.K. still vulnerable to symptomatic infection — likely younger adults waiting for vaccines — to stay home and get tested should they feel sick, per the Guardian.
The Delta variant now accounts for about 10 percent of cases in the U.S., The New York Times reports. The good news, however, is that data suggests "if you've been fully vaccinated, you remain protected, that the vaccines hold up." Read more at The New York Times and The Guardian.