It’s been over seven months since the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the world and even today, it shows no signs of abating. What’s even more worrisome is the fact that to this date, scientists are not aware of the full potential of the coronavirus. However, a recent study by scientists at King’s College, London, does provide some relief. Researchers claim that the possibility of a patient requiring medical attention in the second week of COVID-19 can be determined by his/her onset of symptoms in the first week.
Dr. Claire Steves from King’s College, says, “These findings have important implications for care and monitoring of people who are most vulnerable to severe COVID-19. If you can predict who these people are on day five, you have time to give them support and early interventions…..simple care that can be given at home, preventing hospitalizations, and saving lives.”
Scientists examined over 1600 COVID-19 patients from the U.S. and UK who first logged their symptoms during March and April. The study suggests that there are six distinct types of coronavirus which appear in clusters of symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Moreover, most of the COVID-19 patients who require ventilation, visit their nearby hospital 13 days after the onset of symptoms.
Classification of Clusters of Symptoms:
According to scientists at King’s College, London, you can break down the cluster of symptoms into two groups. The first set of clusters subsuming less severe symptoms are more prevalent in the younger generation. The second set of cluster subsuming the more severe symptoms is generally seen in older individuals and people with comorbidities. Take a look!
- Flu-like symptoms with no signs of fever: Headache, sore throat, body pains, loss of sense of smell, chest pain.
- Flu-like symptoms with fever: Cough, sore throat, body pains, loss of sense of smell, fever, loss of appetite.
- Gastrointestinal: Headache, loss of sense of smell, loss of appetite, chest pain, sore throat, no cough.
- Severe Level I: Hoarseness, chest pain, loss of sense of smell, fever, cough, fatigue.
- Severe Level II: Loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell, fatigue, chest pain, headache, cough, fever, muscle pain, confusion.
- Severe Level III: Headache, loss of appetite, fever, cough, loss of sense of smell, hoarseness, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath.
What do the Results of the Research Indicate?
The results suggest that the maximum number of patients fall in the first category of less severe symptoms. According to the results, 462 patients fall in the first category, 315 in the second, 216 in the third, 280 in the fourth, 213 in the fifth, and 167 in the sixth cluster of symptoms.
Headache and loss of sense of smell we’re the most common symptoms among patients of all clusters. However, what happens after the first stage of symptoms is what sets each category apart. In the case of severe COVID-19 patients, a state of confusion is the most prominent symptom after four to five days of the infection. These patients are also more likely to experience loss of appetite and muscle pain early on in the coronavirus infection.
Patients with less severe symptoms usually do not report any signs of fatigue during their first week of infection. However, in patients of severe symptom clusters, signs of fatigue can be noticed only a day or two after the infection. The patients in the sixth cluster of symptoms are the only ones to experience abdominal pain after five days of COVID-19 infection. Patients who fall in the sixth category are 20% more likely to require ventilation support.
Doctors across the globe are elated that scientists at King’s College, London, have identified the “six different types of COVID-19.” This study will indubitably help doctors to provide better patient care and save more lives!