Here are the COVID-19 delta variant symptoms to watch for, according to an expert

Dana Branham

Those infected with the delta variant of COVID-19 may experience different symptoms from the ones we’ve come to expect from the coronavirus. 

Some of the most commonly reported symptoms with the more-contagious delta variant — which was first identified in India and is now spreading in the U.S. — include headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever, said Dr. Dale Bratzler, the University of Oklahoma’s chief COVID-19 officer. 

Anyone who notices those symptoms, “I strongly encourage you to be tested, because you could be infected with the delta variant,” Bratzler said at Tuesday’s Healthier Oklahoma Coalition news conference. 

Delta variant:Oklahoma sees uptick in COVID-19 cases as faster-spreading delta variant alarms officials

COVID-19 symptoms can vary widely from person to person and also can include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, a loss of taste or smell, congestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The newest variant of COVID-19 is proving more contagious.

Delta variant behind uptick in recent Oklahoma COVID-19 cases?

The delta variant may be behind a recent uptick in Oklahoma’s COVID-19 cases, particularly in the northeast part of the state, where a delta variant outbreak in Missouri may be behind Oklahoma hotspots. 

The delta variant now makes up more than 20% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., health officials have said. It’ll likely become the predominant variant in Oklahoma, Bratzler said. 

Currently, the predominant COVID-19 strain in Oklahoma and across the U.S. is the alpha variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. 

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Should I wear a mask to protect against the COVID delta variant?

The CDC hasn’t changed its guidance for fully vaccinated people, which says those who are at least two weeks past their second dose of either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can forgo masks in most settings.

But World Health Organization officials have said even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors amid rising concerns about the delta variant.

COVID-19 updates:WHO recommends masks even for fully vaccinated; Pfizer, Moderna vaccines may offer long immunity

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“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general, said Friday, according to USA TODAY. 

Especially for anyone in a high-risk group — whether due to their age or health conditions that could make them more likely to have a severe outcome with COVID-19 — it’s “probably still a good idea to wear a mask in a crowded situation,” even if they’re fully vaccinated, said Dr. Stan Schwartz, CEO of WellOK, the Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health.

Bratzler agreed, adding that it is possible for vaccinated people to contract COVID-19, including the delta variant strain.

“I think it just makes sense if you're in a crowded, indoor setting to consider wearing a mask, until we really get this under control,” he said. 

Need a COVID-19 vaccine in OKC?

To find a vaccine appointment near you, go to the state's vaccination scheduling portal at, or go to for appointments in the Oklahoma City area. More opportunities to get a COVID-19 shot can be found at