DeKalb, IL — As the delta variant continues to spread globally, doctors are advising those with symptoms related to a bad cold to continue to get tested for COVID-19.
"COVID can present in different ways," said Dr. Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at the University of Utah Health, according to NBC News. "If you think you have a cold, you're infectious, and whether that's COVID or a cold, you should consider getting a test."
A number of people with cold-like symptoms are increasing with complaints of congestion, a runny nose and a headache. It is not clear why common cold symptoms are increasingly reported in coronavirus cases, though some experts suspect it could be due to the delta variant.
It's also possible the shift in virus symptoms has nothing to do with the delta variant.
Because most older adults have received the COVID-19 vaccine, new cases are skewing toward younger, mostly unvaccinated, adults.
Tim Spector, a professor of epidemiology at King's College London found that earlier symptoms, such as shortness of breath, persistent cough and loss of smell, "have dropped out of the top five" of the most common COVID-19 symptoms.
Even among those who are vaccinated, a stuffed-up nose, sore throat, slight fever or fatigue may warrant a COVID-19 test.
"If you're not sure it's a cold, I would assume it could be Covid," Spector said, according to NBC News.