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BBC Breakfast: Louise speaks to doctor about Delta variant

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Indian officials have named a new Covid variant Delta plus, making it an offshoot of the UK’s most dominant strain. They have also dubbed it a “variant of concern”, outlining the potential risks attached to its circulation. The national health ministry has also outlined a selection of mutations that could make it as slippery as its relative.

What are the symptoms of Delta plus?

Indian authorities have identified genetic traces of the variant, bachelors degrees in allied health otherwise known as AY.1, in roughly 40 samples from three states.

And 16 of these samples came from Maharashtra, which is in the midst of one of India’s most severe outbreaks.

Some cases have also trickled into England, with 41 sequenced so far.

There is little information about the plus variant at present, with scientists unsure how much it differs genetically from baseline Delta.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently considers Delta plus a part of the already widespread Delta variant.

And it appears to produce the same symptoms, as well.

But these may differ from the signs people expect from other Covid infections.

Speaking in a YouTube video, Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe symptom tracker app, outlined it may give people an entirely different experience to non-variant Covid.

He said Delta works “slightly differently” compared to some of its predecessors.

And hallmark Covid signs such as loss of smell don’t even come “into the top 10” of the app’s most common symptoms.

Instead, people with the Delta variant have three completely different complaints.

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These include:

  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A runny nose

By comparison, base COVID-19 causes:

  • A high temperature (38C+)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Loss of change to sense of smell and taste

Scientists aren’t yet sure whether Delta plus has developed distinct mutations.

Dr Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University, told the BBC Delta plus may have a “slight” infectivity advantage.

But this enhancement gives it an edge in spreading “between people who were previously infected earlier during the pandemic” or with “weak or incomplete vaccine immunity”.

Dr Kamil added he didn’t believe there was enough data to distinguish it as “more dangerous or concerning” than Delta.

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