Covid: Delta variant lacks 'classic' symptoms and may feel more 'like a bad cold'

14 June 2021, 21:33

Data from the ZOE Covid app has suggested the Delta variant feels more like a "bad cold" in younger people
Data from the ZOE Covid app has suggested the Delta variant feels more like a "bad cold" in younger people. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

The Delta variant may involve different symptoms to those the NHS advise the public to look out for, according to the ZOE Covid Symptom Study.

Data from the app, which millions of people in the UK use to log their symptoms, has shown that the Delta Covid variant is likely to have symptoms more akin to “a bad cold” in young people, where the primary rises in infections are being seen.

“Covid is acting differently now – it’s more like a bad cold in this younger population, and people don’t realise that and that hasn’t come across in any of the government information,” Professor Spector said in his coronavirus update.

“Since the start of May we have been looking at the top symptoms in all the app users and they are not the same as they were… the number one symptom is headache, then followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever.”

Downing Street anti-lockdown protest

Professor Spector said that the “classic” symptoms of Covid-19, such as a cough and a loss of sense of smell, are much rarer than they were.

A cough is the fifth most common symptom, but a loss of smell does not even make it into the top 10 anymore.

Read more: Huge crowd of anti-lockdown protesters gathers at No 10 over ‘Freedom Day’ delay

Read more: MPs lead furious backlash over proposed four-week delay to June 21 lockdown easing

He said that the change in the way Covid presents is “fuelling a lot of the problem” of rising infections because people might not realise they have it.

“People might think that they have just got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and they might spread it around to six other people,” he explained.

“The message here is that, if you’re young and you’re going to get milder symptoms anyway, it might just feel like a bad cold or some funny 'off' feeling.

“But do stay at home and do get a test.”

He urged people to make use of the lateral flow tests which are readily available to anyone and can be used even if one does not have symptoms.

Covid crisis: My children are finding it tough in their industry

The Delta variant has caused a stir in the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling it a cause for "serious, serious concern" and delaying the June 21 lockdown easing as a result.

The strain, which was first detected in India but is now dominant in the UK, makes up more than 90 per cent of new cases of the virus in Britain.

Read more: Crossbench peer blames PM's 'slight obsession with India deal' for Delta strain rise

Read more: Wedding restrictions in England - explained

However, data from Public Health England (PHE) found that two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine are "highly effective" against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.

The data is a promising sign that vaccines will still provide a route out of lockdown, and people are being encouraged to ensure they get both doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.

“These hugely important findings confirm that the vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalisation from the Delta variant,” Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE. said.

“It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Phillips headshot

Mystery of 'Bushman' dad-of-three who went missing with children - before robbing bank at gunpoint

The PM accused Sir Keir of trying to "entrench his power" by lowering the voting age

Rishi Sunak accuses Keir Starmer of only wanting to lower voting age to 'entrench his power'

Pressure signals could be used to locate the missing plane

Major breakthrough in MH370 mystery as nuclear sensor picks up crucial sound

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'in good spirits' and expected to make 'speedy and full recovery' after falling off stage

Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen rushed to hospital after falling off stage during West End performance

Dario G star Paul Spencer

Dario G star Paul Spencer dies aged 53 following cancer diagnosis

Reform chairman Richard Tice was speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr.

'Take them back to France': Reform will have 'standoff' with French over illegal migrants if needed, says Richard Tice

The teen was helping cut the tree down as a summer job.

Pictured: Boy, 16, crushed by 30ft tree just a day after finishing final GCSE exam - as three arrested

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in shocking hit-and-run

Manhunt for Coventry hit-and-run suspect continues following death of boy, 12, as police urge public to 'do the right thing'

Parts of the UK face severe rainfall next week, dramatic weather maps suggest

Thunderstorms set to drench Britain with 10 days worth of rain failing in just three hours

Fury erupted after the cow was rammed by a police car

Let us not be hypocrites when we look at the shocking case of the runaway cow

'I didn't expect to die today': Heartbreaking film hopes to keep teenagers out of open water danger

'I didn't expect to die today': Heartbreaking film hopes to keep teenagers out of open water danger

Prince William seen at a procession for the annual Garter Day service

William beams during Order of the Garter procession as royals join King and Queen at Windsor Castle

The parkour runner damaged the UNESCO World Heritage Site building in Italy in a parkour stunt

Shocking footage captures parkour runner damaging UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

Defendant Josef Fritzl, center, is escorted to the fourth day of his trial in the provincial courthouse in St. Poelten, Austria, Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Incest monster Josef Fritzl placed under legal guardianship amid worsening dementia

Rod Stewart (pictured on stage in Copenhagen on Sunday June 9) was booed by German fans for supporting Ukraine

Rod Stewart defends show of support for Ukraine after booing at Germany concert