Doctor says delta variant symptoms differ from original COVID-19 strand

delta variant mixed messaging
Posted at 3:50 PM, Aug 10, 2021

BALTIMORE — The delta variant symptoms are different from the original strand of COVID-19, a Johns Hopkins doctor said.

Dr. Gabe Kelen, the director of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins, said the initial symptoms from the original COVID-19 strand were similar to the flu. Still, he said symptoms from those infected with the delta variant are more like a summer cold.

“A majority of these cases start with sniffles [and] sore throat,” he said. “And even among healthcare workers, we know many thought well this is just a summer cold, it’s not the way COVID is really supposed to present and it ultimately turned out they had COVID.”

Dr. Kelen said the symptoms are similar, but the key difference is that people infected with the delta variant may not lose their taste or smell.

He said the different symptoms could lead to people spreading the virus without them even knowing.

In Maryland, nearly all new cases are from the delta variant.

Dr. Kelen said it’s important to get tested even if you think what you have is just a cold.

“If you have symptoms, do not assume that this is a summer cold,” he said. “Even if your symptoms aren’t very strong, what you want to do is make sure you are not spreading COVID to somebody else who is going to have a very bad outcome.

Dr. Kelen said the bottom-line is to get the vaccine, which is highly effective against the delta variant.

He said it’s the best way not only to protect yourself but the people around you.

“It’s not about only you,” he said. “You can infect someone else and kill them unknowingly. You are spreading viral bullets if you are infected, and you may not even know it.“

You can find a full list of COVID-19 symptoms by visiting this link here.

Ray Stickland at WMAR first reported this story.