COVID-19 Fact Checks

FALSE: Delta variant does not cause cough, fever

Rappler
FALSE: Delta variant does not cause cough, fever
Though there is still a lot to learn about the Delta variant, there have been reports of cough and fever symptoms among COVID-19 patients with the Delta variant
At a glance
  • Claim: COVID-19 patients with the Delta variant do not experience cough and fever.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Though there is still a lot to learn about the Delta variant, there have been reports of cough and fever symptoms among COVID-19 patients with the Delta variant. Studies say the symptoms of the Delta variant appear to differ from traditional COVID-19 symptoms, but fever and cough are still considered two of the top five symptoms of COVID-19 for all variants.
  • Why we fact-checked this: A reader sent a copy of the circulating post to Rappler for verification. As of writing, one of the Facebook posts that shared the message has garnered 391 reactions, 106 comments, and 353 shares.
Complete details

A circulating message about the Delta variant falsely claims that COVID-19 patients with the Delta variant do not experience cough and fever.

“Infected people do not cough or have fevers. This time the symptoms are joint pain, weakness, loss of appetite. As a result, the mortality rate is higher, the time to reach critical is shorter, and sometimes there are no symptoms, so be careful,” the message says.

A reader sent a copy of the circulating post to Rappler for verification. One of the Facebook posts that shared the message on Monday, September 13, has 391 reactions, 106 comments, and 353 shares, as of writing.

This claim is false.

Though there is still a lot to learn about the Delta variant, there have been reports of cough and fever symptoms among COVID-19 patients with the Delta variant.

Studies say the symptoms of the Delta variant appear to differ from traditional COVID-19 symptoms, but fever and cough are still considered two of the top five symptoms of COVID-19 across all variants, according to data from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app.

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study App is a self-reporting system in the United Kingdom that tracks COVID-19 symptoms. These findings were first released in June when more than 90% of the cases in the UK were due to the Delta variant.

What changed when the Delta variant appeared was that more people reported having runny noses while sick, and fewer people reported a loss of smell.

A different survey in July by an Irish online medical directory also found that the most commonly reported symptom of the Delta variant is a sore throat, followed by cough, nasal congestion, sinus congestion, and fever.

On August 8, the Department of Health (DOH) said that “it’s impossible to distinguish Delta based on symptoms” because it manifests in a similar way as the common flu – they both exhibit headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever.

However, the DOH also clarified on August 12 that the exact list of symptoms of the Delta variant is not yet established and that COVID-19 symptoms vary. Still, the health department advised keeping a “high index of suspicion” when any of the known symptoms appear because of the Delta variant’s more transmissible nature. – Owenh Toledo/Rappler.com

Owenh Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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