Delta variant cases climb in 2 U.S. states — and new symptoms emerge

The increase in COVID-19 infections around the country has state officials worried as the country prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July. Amid the rapid rise of the contagious Delta variant, two states — Arkansas and California — warned about new infections, CNN reported.

Arkansas and California on high alert

Cases in Arkansas are climbing and officials are citing concerns about low vaccination rates.

“We are now going in the wrong direction yet again with COVID-19 infections here in the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, earlier this week during a briefing.

“With July 4th holiday coming up and eventually kids going back to school, we have to be concerned that this would be a trend that could continue. And if it does, it would appear that we may be in the beginning of the third surge of COVID-19 here in the state of Arkansas,” he added.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during the briefing that more than 90% of active virus cases are people who did not get the jab. The state reported its largest single-day increase in cases on Thursday, recording 700 new infections, up from 686 from the day before.

CNN reported that only 34% of Arkansas’ total population is fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County in California reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases since April, with the county reporting 506 new cases.

Of those, 245 infections have been deemed of the Delta variant — double the number just a week ago.

“We have enough risk and enough unvaccinated people for Delta to pose a threat to our recovery and masking up now, could help prevent a resurgence in transmission,” said health director Barbara Ferrer.

The symptoms of the Delta variant are different

In late June, White House chief medial advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci called the Delta variant the country’s “greatest threat” to ending COVID-19. At the time, roughly 20% of newly diagnosed cases in the country were of the variant.

While vaccines are effective, the Delta variant is expected to spread and become the dominant Covid strain in weeks.

The Conversation reported that the five most common symptoms are  different than those from the more common COVID strain. Fever and sore throat remain prevalent, but loss of smell has fallen off and new symptoms have arisen, including headache and runny nose.

The report noted that the evolution of the virus could be a factor for the changing symptoms, while the Delta variant also has different characteristics, like being more transmissible.

The Delta variant is especially worrisome for younger people. President Joe Biden previously urged Americans to get vaccinated, while Fauci singled out individuals 18 to 26.