COVID-19 New Symptoms: Delta Variant Can Cause Runny Nose And More Issues; Check If You Have Them
As the coronavirus is mutating, the experts have warned that the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from those that were traditionally associated with the virus infection. Check if you have them.
It is more than 18 months now that the world is in the grip of the deadly coronavirus which has infected millions of people worldwide. As the vaccination drive is taking the lead, there is a new COVID-19 variant that has become a major cause of concern among people. Earlier this month the World Health Organisation declared the rapid spread of the Delta variant which was also a possible reason for the second coronavirus wave in India. This strain which was first identified in India has now mutated to form another highly transmissible variant Delta Plus. At the outset of the pandemic, government agencies and health authorities scrambled to inform people on how to identify symptoms of the virus. However, some common symptoms such as fever, headache, and loss of smell were identified as the warning symptoms of coronavirus infection. But as the virus has evolved, it seems the most common symptoms have changed too.
Beware! New COVID-19 Symptoms Linked To Delta Variant Is Here
Emerging data suggest people infected with the Delta variant the variant possibly behind the spike in the infections in the second wave of COVID-19 around the world are experiencing symptoms different to those we commonly associated with COVID earlier in the pandemic.
Humans are dynamic. With our differences come different immune systems. This means the same virus can produce different signs and symptoms in different ways. A sign is something that's seen, such as a rash. A symptom is something that's felt, like a sore throat. The way a virus causes illness is dependent on two key factors:
Viral factors include things like speed of replication, modes of transmission, and so on. Viral factors change as the virus evolves.
Host factors are specific to the individual. Age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health, and stress can all affect host factors.
Common Signs And Symptoms of Delta Variant
As the coronavirus is mutating, the experts have warned that the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from those that were traditionally associated with the virus infection. While fever and cough have always been common COVID symptoms, and headache and sore throat have traditionally presented for some people, a runny nose was rarely reported in earlier data. Meanwhile, loss of smell, which was originally quite common, now ranks ninth.
There are a few reasons we could be seeing the symptoms evolving in this way. It may be because data were originally coming mainly from patients presenting to the hospital who were, therefore, likely to be sicker. And given the higher rates of vaccination coverage in older age groups, younger people are now accounting for a greater proportion of COVID cases, and they tend to experience milder symptoms.
The reason why younger ones could experience milder symptoms of coronavirus infection could be because of the evolution of the virus, and the different characteristics (viral factors) of the Delta variant. But why exactly symptoms could be changing remains uncertain.
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While we still have more to learn about the Delta variant, this emerging data is important because it shows us that what we might think of as just a mild winter cold a runny nose and a sore throat could be a case of COVID-19. The reports from the recent research have also highlighted the power of public science. At the same time, we need to remember the results haven't yet been fully analysed or stratified. That is, "host factors" such as age, gender, other illnesses, medications, and so on haven't been accounted for, as they would in a rigorous clinical trial. And as is the case with all self-reported data, we have to acknowledge there may be some flaws in the results.
Does COVID-19 Vaccination Affect The Symptoms?
Although new COVID-19 variants can compromise the effectiveness of vaccines, for Delta, the vaccines such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca still appear to offer good protection against symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses. according to the reports, both vaccines have been shown to offer greater than 90% protection from a severe disease requiring hospital treatment.
A recent "superspreader" event in New South Wales highlighted the importance of vaccination. Of 30 people who attended this birthday party, reports indicated none of the 24 people who became infected with the Delta variant had been vaccinated. The six vaccinated people at the party did not contract COVID-19. In some cases, the infection may still possible after vaccination, but it's highly likely the viral load will be lower and symptoms much milder than they would without vaccination.
Delta Is Spreading Here's What You Can Do
Evidence indicating Delta is more infectious compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of the virus are building. It's important to understand the environment is also changing. People have become more complacent with social distancing, seasons change, vaccination rates vary all these factors affect the data. But scientists are becoming more confident the Delta variant represents a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 strain.