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The COVID-19 delta variant might have different symptoms. Here’s how to spot them

The delta variant is spreading fast. You might have it and not even know it

One man holds the door for another as they arrive at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, Maine.
In this May 12, 2021, file photo, one man holds the door for another as they arrive at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press

The novel coronavirus delta variant has continued to spread around the world after being discovered in India.

Now, scientists worry that people might not recognize they’ve been infected with the variant because the symptoms are different than previous mutations of the coronavirus.

Different COVID-19 symptoms for delta variant

Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, released a new YouTube video where he explained how the delta variant is different for people, according to CNBC.

  • “COVID is also acting differently now,” he said in his YouTube briefing. “It’s more like a bad cold in this younger population and people don’t realize that and that hasn’t come across in any of the government information.”
  • “Since the start of May, we have been looking at the top symptoms in the app users and they are not the same as they were,” he said. He said most people suffered a “funny off feeling.”

Spector listed the following symptoms in order of commonality:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fever

Interestingly, the common COVID-19 symptoms — like cough and loss of smell — were a little rarer, according to CNBC.

Is the delta variant on the rise in the U.S.?

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that the delta variant has become a “variant of concern” in the United States. That title is given to virus strains the CDC feels are more transmissible and more likely to cause severe illness — especially among the unvaccinated in this case.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN that unvaccinated people should be worried over the spread of the delta variant.

  • “I’m worried about those who are unvaccinated,” he said, adding that the delta variant “is rapidly increasing here in the United States.”