COVID-19 or coronavirus disease 2019 is a respiratory illness which spreads from person to person. Coronaviruses have crown-like spikes on their surface and the major sub groups of coronaviruses are alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
SARS-CoV-2 virus has been named by WHO as COVID-19 following best practises for naming new human infectious disease as on February 11, 2020. It is called novel coronavirus because it has not been previously identified in humans.
Recently researchers at London's King's College carried out an analysis on COVID-19 , after 1,600 patients in the UK and United States used a monitoring device or a tracking app called COVID Symptom Study app during the month of March and April. They found that there are six distinct forms of the virus with separate symptom clusters. The researchers developed a model combining information about age, sex, BMI and pre-existing conditions together with symptoms gathered over just five days from the onset of the illness.
This was done to predict which cluster a patient falls into and their risk of requiring hospitalisation and breathing support.
The time period between which people get first symptom of COVID-19 till visit to hospital with difficulty in respiration represents a significant ‘early warning’ as to who is most likely to need more intensive care. The study describes the six COVID-19 types as mentioned in the table below.
|TYPES OF COVID-19||SYMPTOMS||% CHANCE IN NEED OF BREATHING SUPPORT SUCH AS OXYGEN OR A VENTILATOR|
|TYPE 1:- Flu-like with no fever||Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever||1.5|
|TYPE 2:- Flu-like with fever||Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite||4.4|
|TYPE 3:- Gastrointestinal||Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, absence of cough||3.3|
|TYPE 4:- Severe Level 1, fatigue||headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain and fatigue||8.6|
|TYPE 5:- Severe Level 2, confusion||Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.||10|
|TYPE 6:- Severe Level 3, abdominal and respiratory||headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea and abdominal pain||20|
It was also found that only 16% of patients with type one COVID-19 required hospitalization, compared to almost half of patients with Type 6. Geriatric patients and people with pre-existing conditions and weakened immune systems are more chance to get affected by Type 4, 5 and 6 COVID-19.
While persistent cough, fever and loss of odour (anosmia) are typically identified as the three main symptoms of COVID-19, data gathered from app shows that people may experience different symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, exhaustion, nausea, discomfort, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, and more. Progression and consequences do differ widely between individuals, varying from moderate flu-like symptoms or clear rash to serious or fatal illness. The researchers have urged every people to get in the habit of using the app daily to log their health over the coming months, as it will generate data which is one of the most powerful tools in the fight with COVID-19.
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