Infectious disease doctor discusses breakthrough infections, delta variant symptoms


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–As the delta variant spreads here in Ohio, local doctors want you to keep an eye out for symptoms that differ slightly from coronavirus early on in the pandemic.

A local infectious disease doctor is urging everyone to monitor their health, even those who are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth said while breakthrough infections are uncommon, they are happening here in Ohio. He wants people to not brush off feeling ill.

“With the delta variant we are seeing a little bit more breakthrough infections in those who are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth.

The vaccines offer a layer of protection aimed at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID.

He said, with the delta variant, there are key symptoms to look out for if you think you might have a breakthrough infection.

“The top three symptoms of the delta variant based out of the UK findings are number one headache, number two runny nose or rhinorrhea, and number three a sore throat. What we are seeing less commonly with the delta variant is the change in taste or smell.”

The Ohio Department of Health is tracking breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or in death. Those make up a small percentage of the total cases across the state.

Dr. Gastaldo said if you’re symptomatic a rapid test will do the job.

“If somebody has a high clinical suspicion for covid meaning perhaps they have a symptom, there’s a lot of community spread going on, you’ve been exposed to somebody it’s a good test. Where the test is less valuable and really where it had its pitfalls is in asymptomatic testing, so you have to be very careful of that.”

Again, breakthrough infections are uncommon, and hospitalization or death is rare for those who are vaccinated. Dr. Gastaldo said when the time comes you should consider getting the booster shot as well.

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