The Covid-19 ward at Karl Bremer Hospital. File Picture: Ian Landsberg/AfricanNews Agency (ANA)
The Covid-19 ward at Karl Bremer Hospital. File Picture: Ian Landsberg/AfricanNews Agency (ANA)

Headaches, sore throat and more: These are the Delta variant symptoms to look out for

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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Cape Town - Beware of that headache, sore throat or runny nose you have, for it could very well be a symptom of the Covid-19 Delta variant, and it would be best that you isolate immediately, according to UCT Public Health Medicine Specialist Prof Mary-Ann Davies.

Davies, who was making a presentation during the most recent digital press conference held by Premier Alan Winde, said there is some evidence from the UK that the Delta variant’s symptom profile could be different from other variants of Covid-19 experienced in South Africa so far.

Mild though the symptoms seem, the Delta variant is more transmissible than the original Covid-19.

Dominant in Gauteng, in the Western Cape, it has been reported in the Cape Town metro, Garden Route and Overberg regions.

“The most prominent current symptoms are headaches, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.

“The fever, loss of smell, and loss of taste are less prominent with this variant, and may impact transmission as people don’t immediately recognise it as Covid-19, and therefore, don’t isolate.”

According to some initial analysis done by the province’s public health experts, it is anticipated that the third wave could be higher than the second wave in the Western Cape.

Davies said this would be constantly reassessed to ensure accuracy and proper planning.

She said that the confirmation that the Delta variant is now playing a major role in the country’s third wave means previous modelling projections are no longer applicable, and as a result, the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium group of researchers is currently updating projections which should be available at some point this week.

Giving an overview of the recent alcohol regulations on trauma cases in the provincial hospitals, head of health Dr Keith Cloete said it was too early to comment on the impact of alert level 4 and the current complete prohibition introduced.

“Alert level 3 introduced some restrictions on alcohol sales and saw a decreasing trend of trauma presentations despite being at the end of the month.”

Cloete said case numbers were increasing rapidly, and the provincial health system was currently seeing an average of 1 430 new diagnoses daily.

Hospital admissions are also increasing, with Winde saying that Covid-19 hospital admissions are doubling every week in the province, and that he expects that daily hospital admissions could surpass 500 by the end of the week.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said she was concerned that infections would continue unless there was stricter adherence to protective behaviours, as a key driver to contain the virus.

Premier Winde reiterated the provincial government’s call to Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi to reopen UIF Ters support to struggling businesses and their employees during the third wave.

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Cape Argus

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