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7 Warning Signs You Have A Delta Infection

Fever, shortness of breath, and coughing are all tell-tale signs.

"Trust me, you don't want this," comedian Chris Rock tweeted after getting a breakthrough infection. The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for over a year now, and the Delta variant is now "more transmissible" and therefore "more dangerous," say experts. While the vaccine and boosters are available, it is still possible to get a COVID infection. If you have any of these symptoms, either pre- or post-vaccination, look into getting tested ASAP. Read on for the 7 key ones to know—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


You May Have a Fever or Chills

Woman being sick having flu lying on sofa looking at temperature on thermometer. Sick woman lying in bed with high fever.

Having either a fever or chills is a sign of a COVID infection (although note that not every COVID infection comes with a fever). It's one of the reasons so many public places are doing temperature checks prior to entry. St. Jude describes a fever as "A temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees Celsius)."

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You May Have a Dry Cough

Sick woman with flu at home

Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. But, not every cough means that you are infected. "There is a wide spectrum of cough severity in COVID-19, from mild to severe coughs or even severe lung illness. It can be difficult to differentiate between a cough caused by COVID-19 or something else," Nate Favini, MD, medical lead at Forward, said to Best Life. Dr. Favini says to look out for a dry cough, which he describes as "coughing without bringing up phlegm."

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You May Have Shortness of Breath

Woman experiencing first Covid-19 symptoms throat pain breathing problems on sofa

COVID-19 affects the lungs and breathing system directly, which makes it difficult to breathe. Shortness of breath can come when you are active or even when resting. Jasmine Marcelin, MD, Infectious Diseases wrote in Nebraska Medicine, explaining what COVID shortness of breath is like. "It's important to get help quickly if you relate to any of these: can't fill your lungs with air, needing to pant, can't hold your breath, every inhale makes you cough, feels like you are suffocating, chest tightness or pain with breathing," she writes. 

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You May Have a Loss of Taste or Smell

Woman smelling flower.

One of the most telling COVID-19 symptoms is the loss of taste or smell. According to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 80% of COVID patients experience smell or taste loss. 

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You May Have Nausea

Nausea is not a well-known symptom of COVID-19. However, according to a study in the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection, nausea might actually be a primary symptom of COVID. The study concluded with writing, "Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon symptoms for both adults and children during the COVID-19 and they can be the initial symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 infection."

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You May Have Diarrhea

upset woman in toilet by diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, piles

Diarrhea is also another not well-known COVID symptom, mainly because it is one of the newer symptoms discovered. A study in the World Journal of Gastrology reveals that, "Diarrhea is a common early symptom in a significant proportion of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 can infect and replicate in esophageal cells and enterocytes, leading to direct damage to the intestinal epithelium. The infection decreases the level of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, thereby altering the composition of the gut microbiota. SARS-CoV-2 elicits a cytokine storm, which contributes to gastrointestinal inflammation."

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You May Have Muscle or Body Aches

Side view of a frowned young man suffering from pain in loin while sitting on white bedding

Muscle and body aches, like headaches, and fatigue in general are common symptoms of COVID-19. Many users of the ZOE COVID Study app have reported having muscle pains and spasms while they were infected with COVID. One out of three people who are ill with COVID-19 will have unusual muscle pains. A post on ZOE's website writes that, "It's more common in adults aged 16-65 (41%) than children (15%) or those over the age of 65 (36%). Only 2% of people who were ill with COVID-19 reported muscle pains as their only symptom."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Healthcare worker with protective equipment performs coronavirus swab on a woman.

If you feel you have any of these symptoms, get tested ASAP and contact a medical professional. And follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more about Anna