What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus?
There are a few things to look out for if you think you might have the Coronavirus:
- a cough
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose and sneezing
- a high temperature (at least 38°C)
- difficulty breathing
These symptoms don’t always mean you have the Coronavirus, in fact they’re similar to common illnesses such as the cold and flu.
Science is telling us the Delta variant has a number of differences compared to earlier iterations of the virus. These differences mean that the Delta variant is a greater threat to the health of individuals who contract the infection and a greater challenge to contain the spread of the virus in an outbreak. For example:
- Delta can cause people to develop more serious COVID-19 illness than other variants of the virus
- People with a Delta infection are at higher risk of needing hospitalisation.
- The chance of infecting others such as within your household or other contacts is very high because Delta is so transmissible. It is estimated that on average, one person infected with Delta may infect 5 or 6 other people. This is how Delta outbreaks in places overseas have grown so rapidly.
- People with Delta infections seem to carry much more virus (have a higher viral load) and for a longer period of time than those infected with the original virus or other variants.
- The time from exposure to the virus until first symptoms is shorter for the Delta variant. Some people may have no symptoms (asymptomatic) when infectious.
How does the Coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus, like the flu, can spread from person to person. If someone has the Coronavirus and they cough, sneeze or talk, they could spread the virus through droplets from their mouth to loved ones around them. These droplets can travel a short distance and quickly land on surfaces or objects nearby.
People can get infected by the virus when they touch those surfaces or objects and then touch then mouth, nose or eyes.
That’s why it’s really important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands, and cough into your elbow. For more information about this and the symptoms and spread of the Coronavirus click here.
What We're Fighting
All the people who were living in your fale when New Zealand went into lockdown after Alert Level 4
When people who are sick are separated from thoes who are not sick
The government’s orders to everyone to stay at home unless they need to do shopping, get medicine, exercise safely or are an essential worker
A drive in centre where you can go to get tested for the Coronavirus
How can we protect ourselves?
Globally, and here in New Zealand, it is so important to stamp out any community outbreaks as quickly as possible and to ensure very high rates of vaccination.
Being fully vaccinated gives you a high degree of protection against Delta infection, and an even higher degree of protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death. Evidence currently shows the effectiveness of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine against illness due to Delta infection is about 88% and the protection against hospitalisation due to Delta infection about 96%.
However, no vaccine is 100% effective so there is some chance that a vaccinated person may become infected with the Delta variant and may transmit the virus to other people. Taking other precautions will remain important in order to continue to protect our communities.
As well as vaccination, early detection of cases and swift contact tracing, as well as isolation of cases and contacts, will be critical due to the shorter incubation period of Delta.
It will also be important to continue to protect ourselves and our whānau and stop the transmission of the disease by following health habits such as:
- Physical distancing of 2m where possible
- Wear face coverings on public transport and indoors in busy places such as supermarkets
- Keep indoor rooms well ventilated (eg, by opening windows and doors) where possible
- If you feel unwell, stay home
- If you show any symptoms, call Healthline and get a COVID-19 test
Keep a record of where you’ve been or scan in wherever you go using the COVID Tracer app and turn Bluetooth on your phone so you can be contacted if you have been near a case.