Runny nose now among the most common symptoms of Delta Covid variant, experts say

16 June 2021, 11:19 | Updated: 16 June 2021, 11:31

Covid symptoms have changed, according to research
Covid symptoms have changed, according to research. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

The most common Covid symptoms of the Delta variant ‘include headaches, sore throat and runny nose’.

Headaches, a sore throat and a runny nose are the most common symptoms associated with the Delta Covid variant, researchers have said.

The data was collected as part of the app-based Zoe Covid symptom study and suggests that the new variant could feel more like a ‘bad cold’.

But while people might not feel too ill after catching the virus, they could be putting others at risk.

A headache and runny nose are some of the most common Covid symptoms now
A headache and runny nose are some of the most common Covid symptoms now. Picture: Getty Images

Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Zoe Covid study, said: “It's more like a bad cold in this younger population and people don’t realise that and it hasn’t come across in any of the government information.

“This means that people might think they’ve got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and might spread around to six other people and we think this is fuelling a lot of the problem.”

According to the NHS, the classic Covid symptoms are fever, cough and loss of smell or taste.

But Mr Spector added that the top symptoms reported by those suffering from the Delta variant have changed.

Over 21s are now being asked to book their jabs
Over 21s are now being asked to book their jabs. Picture: Getty Images

“The number one symptom is headache, followed by runny nose, sore throat and fever. Not the old classic symptoms.

“We don’t see loss of smell in the top ten anymore, this variant seems to be working slightly differently.”

He has advised people who are feeling at all unwell to stay at home, use lateral flow tests and follow it up with a PCR test if they get a positive result.

The Zoe app - which has scientific analysis provided by King’s College London - was founded by Mr Spector and now has more than four million contributors globally.

This comes as it was revealed that the Delta variant now makes up 90 per cent of the UK’s Covid cases.

And with the Covid jab roll out now extended to over 21-year-olds, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Our UK vaccination programme continues at pace and has already saved thousands of lives. It is our way out of this pandemic.

“This evidence of the effectiveness of 2 doses against variants shows just how crucial it is to get your second jab.

“If you have had your first dose but haven’t booked your second yet – please do so. It will help save lives and boost us on the road to recovery.”