While vaccinations in Scotland are helping to ease concerns, with the bulk of the population now having had at least their first dose of the vaccine, confusion over multiple coronavirus strands and variants continues.
The latest and most powerful variant is the Delta variant – formerly known as the Indian variant.
Now believed to account for a substantial amount of new positive coronavirus cases in the UK, the fast-spreading variant has most recently seen Hong Kong close its borders to UK travellers.
Similar attempts to curb the spread of the variant within the UK most recently saw First Minister Nicola Sturgeon place restrictions on non-essential travel from Scotland to Manchester which, following protestations from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, are no longer in place.
But the Delta variant nevertheless continues to sweep across Scotland with great speed – with the last few days setting new records for the highest number of positive cases reported in a day at well over 3,000.
While Nicola Sturgeon said she believes the recent spike in new cases might be past the peak, here’s what you need to know about the Delta variant’s symptoms and the most common signs of coronavirus.
What are the Delta variant symptoms?
In an even more confusing twist, the onset of British summer time as a period in which many hayfever sufferers find themselves feeling under the weather has clashed with the spread of the Delta variant and some of its very hayfever-like symptoms.
These include headaches, runny noses, sore throats and fevers.
Earlier this month, National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch appeared on BBC Good Morning Scotland where he described the strain of the virus as “horrid" and warned people not to be complacent with mixing and precautions after their first vaccine, saying this would only give around 30% of immunity against the tough, new covid-19 strain.
Professor Leitch said: “The Delta variant has changed the game in one crucial way.
“Everything still works – distancing, ventilation, handwashing all still works – but what’s new about the Delta variant, and this is horrid, and we’ve learned it increasingly over the last few weeks, is the second dose is required for decent protection.
“You get about 30% protection from one dose, you get 80 to 85% from two.”
What are most common signs of coronavirus?
Where the Delta variant differs to classic coronavirus symptoms is that they are more similar to cold and flu-like symptoms, with many finding themselves testing positive as a result saying they felt slightly off or unwell rather than experiencing a sudden onset of symptoms such as a loss or change in taste or smell.
The most common symptoms for coronavirus on the whole, according to the NHS, are a new continuous cough, high temperature and a loss or change in taste or smell.
The differences in symptoms comes as a result of the virus mutating, with slight differences or changes in symptoms to be expected.
Despite this, however, the advice remains very much the same – with those feeling unwell advised to order a lateral flow device test or to stay at home and order a PCR test if they are experiencing any of the signs of coronavirus and its latest variant.
In today’s coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon addressed Scotland’s current 11.6% positivity rate today as a clear sign that social distancing, hand-washing and wearing face coverings should be maintained.