Scientists have identified six different types COVID-19 — each with a specific set of symptoms is a kind of a breakthrough that could help doctors predict which patients are most at risk. This writes Sky News.
It is believed that various forms of the disease, determine its severity among the infected. Depends on if they need respiratory support during hospitalization.
Scientists say the research will have a major impact on treatment decisions during a potential second wave of the coronavirus and can “save lives”.
Although a persistent cough, fever and loss of smell are usually identified as three key symptoms of coronavirus, the data collected from approximately 1,600 users of the application COVID Symptom Study in the UK and the USA, show that people can experience a wide range of completely different symptoms.
They can include headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, confusion, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and more.
The researchers came to the conclusion that the manifestation of any of the six main symptoms in every infected person, usually indicates how quickly the disease will progress and how serious people can get sick.
The researchers presented six separate groups or “types” COVID-19 — as follows:
Type 1. Cold like symptoms without fever, headache, loss of smell, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
Type 2. “Flu-like” with fever, headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.
3. Gastrointestinal — headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.
Type 4. Heavy level 1, fatigue — headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
Type 5. Heavy level 2, confusion, headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.
Type 6. Heavy level 3, respiratory failure, headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
Results patients varied considerably, from mild symptoms of the flu or a simple rash to severe illness or death.
Researchers have identified six groups of symptoms, which occurred in the same moments of the development of the disease, and the likely degree of severity, which typically corresponds to each of them.
A group of researchers said that although some of these symptoms, such as confusion, abdominal pain and shortness of breath, was not widely associated with COVID-19, they were signs of its most severe forms.
It was found that only 1.5% of people with group 1, 4.4% of people with group 2 and 3.3% of people from group 3 need for mechanical ventilation.
But these figures amounted to 8.6%, 9.9% and 19,8% for groups 4, 5 and 6, respectively — while almost half of the patients in group 6 was in the hospital, compared to only 16% of the group 1.
The researchers said that, as a rule, people from groups 4, 5 or 6 were older and weaker, more prone to excess weight and had comorbidities such as diabetes or lung disease, compared to people from groups 1, 2 or 3.
Defining the different types, the researchers then combined information on age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and comorbidities of patients with symptoms, each of which was manifested just five days from the onset of the disease.
This allowed them to develop a model that, according to them, predicts more accurately and, most important, earlier — in which group each patient falls and what is the probability that he will require hospitalization and ventilation.
Dr Claire Steves at king’s College London said: “These findings are important for the care and monitoring of those most vulnerable to severe forms COVID-19”.
“If you are on the fifth day can predict the probability of the disease, you have time to support them and to take early measures, such as monitoring the level of oxygen in the blood and sugar is a simple maintenance that you can provide at home, preventing admission and saving lives”.
And Sebastian Arcelin, a Professor of public health at king’s College London and senior author of the study, said that the study “had a profound impact on the understanding of severity and impact COVID-19 on the body”.
Professor Tim Spector added that the results showed the importance of the fact that people are accustomed to use the application, “helping to beat the second wave of infection.”