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Hayfever sufferers are feeling confused after experts warned that the condition shares many symptoms with the Delta covid-19 variant, which originated in India and is now the dominant strain here in the UK.
Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Zoe Covid Symptom study at King's College London, has warned that younger people with the variant are reporting new symptoms.
Instead of the usual high temperature, hacking cough and loss of taste and smell we've become familiar with, a new set of symptoms are thought to be associated with the Delta variant.
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"Since the start of May, we have been looking at the top symptoms in the app users - and they are not the same as they were," he explained.
"This variant seems to be working slightly differently. People might think they've just got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and they might spread around to six other people. We think this is fuelling a lot of the problem."
Worryingly, three of the most common symptoms people are now reporting are a runny nose, sore throat and headache, symptoms that could easily be dismissed or overlooked as hayfever or a seasonal cold.
Things have been made even worse with hayfever suffers reporting stronger symptoms, with several areas in the UK having been hit with a 'pollen bomb'.
Unsurprisingly, hayfever sufferers have reacted in confusion and, in some cases, panic that their symptoms might be something more than a mild allergic reaction.
On reading about the new symptoms, one person tweeted: "That's also basically me in hot weather and with hayfever. Guess I need to get myself a few thousand test kits."
Another joked: "Are they sure the Delta variant ain't just hayfever season?"
One tweeted: "Cool, that's just what we needed to hear in HAYFEVER SEASON."
While one wrote: "Oh good. An added level of stress and jeopardy to this year's hayfever season."
With the Delta variant making up now 90 per cent of all UK cases, it's more important than ever that people who may have even very mild symptoms to stay cautious and to get tested.
Professor Spector added: "The message here is that if you are young, you are going to get milder symptoms anyway.
"It might just feel like a bad cold or some funny 'off' feeling - but do stay at home and do get a test."
Tyla has contacted AllergyUK for comment.
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