The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting drastic increases across the country in the number of people contracting COVID-19.
As hospitals begin to fill up with younger, unvaccinated patients, doctors are stressing that there are new symptoms people should watch for as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
“The delta variant has slightly different symptoms compared to the original virus. You may not get the loss of taste & smell. The delta variant could cause issues like a cough, shortness of breath, a fever, body aches, congestion, and more. Please get tested if you have these,” Dr. George Monks wrote on Twitter.
Without a test, many patients may not realize they have COVID-19 until their symptoms intensify, doctors say.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the CDC.
Experts stress that the delta variant spreads easily and it takes less of the virus to make someone sick. The variant, a version of the coronavirus first identified in India, was first detected in the U.S. in January. It’s now spreading in more than 90 countries.
“This delta variant is more deadly than the original,” said Dr. Mary Clarke, Oklahoma State Medical Association President.
As of July 14, the CDC reported the current seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases increased 69.3% compared to the previous week’s numbers.
Also, the seven-day average of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 was 35.8% higher than the same time the previous week.
Officials also stress that deaths have increased 26.3% compared to the previous seven-day moving average.
In order to protect yourself from the latest variant, officials stress that you should continue to wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask, and get vaccinated.
Monks said that even if you are fully vaccinated, it’s still a good idea to wear a mask in indoor settings or crowded areas.
“If you are still hesitant or have some questions about the Covid vaccine, please talk to your physician. The Covid vaccine is safe and very effective at keeping you out of the hospital and keeping you alive. Getting Covid is risky,” Monks wrote.