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Runny nose could be Delta variant of Covid-19, warns UCT expert

01 July 2021 - 12:16 By aron hyman
The Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus is highly contagious and has spread faster than other variants. File photo.
The Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus is highly contagious and has spread faster than other variants. File photo.
Image: 123RF/perig76

People with the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19, which is driving SA's third wave of infections, may think they just have a cold.

This was the warning on Thursday from Prof Mary-Ann Davies, director of the University of Cape Town Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research. 

Speaking at the weekly Western Cape government Covid-19 briefing, she said the Delta variant’s symptom profile is different from previous variants.

Symptoms are often milder, and a simple “runny nose” could mean you have Covid-19 and need to self-isolate, she said.  

Davies said more work was needed to understand why the Delta variant's symptom profile was different.

Provincial health boss Dr Keith Cloete said hospitals were 82% full but only 13% of patients had Covid-19.

It appeared the level 4 lockdown ban on alcohol sales, introduced on Sunday, was already reducing trauma admissions, he said.

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