By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – Concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19 are a concern in Colorado as well as across the globe. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida says the variant is so dangerous because of how subtle your symptoms can be compared to other strains of the coronavirus.

“We have referred to the Delta variant as being COVID on steroids. It is something that is much more easily spread and we believe it causes much more serious illness,” Hnida said in an interview on CBSN Denver. “The problem with this is that it really is a great masquerader.”

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Hnida said what he means by that is the typical COVID-19 symptoms people experience are coughing, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell. But those who get the Delta variant may just experience headaches, sore throat or sniffles, making it seem like just another common cold.

“As we go onward, if we have unvaccinated people who wind up developing symptoms, they may just blow it off and say ‘Well, I’ve just got a case of the mild cold, here.’ And not only are they at risk for spreading it to others, but they are at risk for serious illness.”

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The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is now present all across the U.S. CBS News reports that the most vulnerable areas continue to be those with low vaccination rates and low rates of immunity from prior infections.

Hnida said vaccination “really is the key” to fighting its further spread.

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Jesse Sarles