Hyderabad: Loss of smell no longer appears to be the most common symptom for COVID Delta variant, according to Zoe Covid Symptom study, a UK-based Covid research organization.

"Catching the Delta variant can feel 'more like a bad cold' for younger people. But although they may not feel very ill, they could be contagious and put others at risk. Since We are looking at symptoms, it's not the same as it was. A headache, sore throat, and runny nose are now the most commonly reported symptoms linked to Covid infection in the UK but a loss of smell no longer appears in the top 10 symptoms," said Prof Tim Spector of Zoe Covid Symptom study.

Prof Tim Spector noted that anyone who thinks they may have Covid should take a test. Zoe's team has been receiving from thousands of people who have logged their symptoms on an app.

The change appears linked to the rise in the Delta variant, first identified in India and now accounting for 90% of Covid cases in the UK. "This variant seems to be working slightly differently. People might think they've just got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and they might spread it around to six other people," he said.

Prof Tim Spector said the Delta variant is more transmissible than many experts thought at the time, twice as transmissible as the original variant. The rate at which this variant can transmit the virus is adjusted at R0 (the R0 value indicates how contagious and the infectious disease it is) at 6, which means one person can infect six people on normal non-lockdown conditions as this variant are very sticky.

"It can do damage in a short time, double vaccination can help in some reduction at 5-10 times less transmission," he said.

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