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Symptoms of Delta Variant COVID Infection: Are They More Severe?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 21, 2023

Symptoms of Delta Variant COVID Infection: Are They More Severe?

Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has always been a race against time. The sooner we achieve herd immunity, the better. Our healthcare workers will be able to breathe a little easier, the economy will recover. And, of course, there will be little to no casualties. But how soon can we win against this pandemic when the delta variant appears to be more threatening? Is it true that the symptoms of delta variant covid infection are more severe? Here are 5 must-know facts about the delta variant. 

1. The Delta Variant Originated In India…

You probably still remember how India’s number of new COVID cases reached hundreds of thousands daily, their hospitals attending to more people they could accommodate, and how they had a dire need for oxygen tanks. 

Here’s the thing: Experts believe this situation was brought about by the delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2 variant. And despite labeling it as the “new delta variant,” it was actually first discovered in India in December 2021. 

2. But Is Now Present In At Least 100 Countries

More than worrying about the possibility of the symptoms of delta variant covid infection being more serious, health experts are also concerned about the variant’s reach. As of now, it has reached nearly 100 nations, including the Philippines. 

To reduce the risk of delta variant spreading, the government has banned incoming flights from certain countries, like India, Bangladesh, and United Arab Emirates, save for returning Filipinos. 

3. In Many Ways, It’s More Concerning Than The “Original Covid”

Named as “the fastest and fittest” COVID-19 variant, authorities say the delta variant is more contagious. 

To illustrate, imagine a vulnerable population where no one is vaccinated. A person infected with the original variant would infect 2.5 people. On the other hand, someone infected with the delta variant would spread it to 3.5 to 4 other people. 

Another thing that concerns people is the possibility that the symptoms of delta variant covid infection are more severe. We still need further studies to compare the differences, but emerging data suggest that runny nose and sore throat seem to be notable delta variant symptoms. 

Note that as per the WHO’s list, a runny nose is not among the reported symptoms of original COVID, while a sore throat is considered less common. 

Finally, research revealed that the delta variant grows more rapidly inside the body. This might be the reason why infected people spread it earlier than usual. This might also mean we need to place infected people under quarantine or isolation earlier. 

4. There’s Even A Delta Plus Variant Now

Also known as B.1.617.2.1, the delta plus variant is closely linked to the delta variant. Although the WHO found it in relatively low numbers, it has three characteristics of concern, namely:

  • Higher transmissibility
  • Easier entry to cells
  • More aggressive, which means our immune system is less effective against it or it is less responsive to antibody treatments. 

5. Vaccination Is A Great Way To Get Protected

Finally, we know so far that the best way to protect ourselves is to get vaccinated. The WHO said approved vaccines are “expected to provide some protection against new variants.”

Case in point: The Pfizer vaccine appears to provide 79% protection against the delta variant. 

Furthermore, getting vaccinated is one way to prevent future mutations of the COVID-19 virus. 

Key Takeaways

The delta variant originated from India where new daily cases reached 400,000 back in May 2021. We still need further information on whether or not the symptoms of delta variant covid are more severe. But so far, reports say it’s more contagious, multiplies more rapidly inside the body, and takes less time to spread to other people. 

Key-takeaways

Learn more about Coronaviruses here. 

Disclaimer

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 21, 2023

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