Chinese doctors say Delta variant's symptoms different, more dangerous

Doctors in China say symptoms of the Delta COVID-19 variant, which was first detected in India, are different and more dangerous than the original version of the coronavirus as the strain continues to spread across the globe.

Chinese doctors, according to The New York Times, have found that patients infected with the Delta variant are becoming sicker and that their conditions are worsening at a quicker speed.

As many as 12 percent of patients have become severely or critically ill within three to four days after symptoms first developed, the Times reported, citing Guan Xiangdong, director of critical care medicine at Sun Yat-sen University in the city of Guangzhou.

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Previously, only 2 or 3 percent of patients had become severely or critically ill within that time period, with the number sometimes creeping up to 10 percent, according to Xiangdong.

Four-fifths of symptomatic cases reportedly developed fevers, doctors told state-run television, according to the Times, though they said it is unclear how that statistic compared with other versions of the virus.

The new information from doctors in China comes as global concerns are growing regarding the Delta variant, which has spread to a number of countries.

The regional director of the World Health Organization’s Europe office said on Thursday that the strain is “poised to take hold” on the continent as the United Kingdom (U.K.) faces an outbreak of the variant.

On Friday, the U.K.’s health secretary said the Delta variant makes up 91 percent of new cases in the country, according to the BBC.