Alpha Variant vs. Delta Variant – How Are the Symptoms Different?

Aug 12, 2021 | COVID 19

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COVID-19 Symptoms Can Look Different with Delta

The original strain of COVID-19 upended our lives in spring 2020. The virus has continued to mutate, and the significantly more contagious Delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID in our country and region, making up most cases.  

Symptoms that people infected with COVID-19 experience can be different depending on the variant, so it’s important to know what to look for if you’re experiencing any symptoms. When in doubt, get tested when you feel sick even if you are vaccinated. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 Delta Variant Can Look Like Allergies

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fever 

Persistent cough and loss of taste and smell are not as prevalent with Delta. Doctors are seeing unvaccinated people get sicker more quickly with Delta, especially younger people. This version of the virus grows more rapidly and to much greater levels in infected respiratory tracts. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 Alpha Variant

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Vaccines Make Our Community Safer

Vaccinated people who contract the Delta variant are typically either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms like those of a common cold. When you get vaccinated, your risk of getting very sick or being hospitalized is significantly lower than someone who has not been vaccinated. You are safer than you were before you got your vaccine. If you are eligible but haven’t yet been vaccinated, find a vaccine by visiting

Keep Masking and Keep Your Distance

The virus can still be spread by vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant, so until our local and regional vaccination rates get higher, we all need to continue to mask up and maintain physical distance as much as possible to curb its spread.

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