Research in Britain has deduced that there are a total of six “general” classifications of COVID-19 symptoms. The research, originally published in June of 2020, has revealed that the symptoms of COVID-19 can be generalized into six different categories. This is based on the data collected from a symptom tracking app. It has been widely proven that the occurrence of symptoms varies on each patient. There is also an apparent difference in the speed of recovery, and the intensity of the symptoms. However, the categorization of symptoms will be able to significantly help hospitals and medical professionals.
Mild Symptoms: Recommended for Self-Isolation and Home Care
First Type: No fever but with headache, muscle pains, chest pains, sore throat, dry cough, and loss of smell.
Second Type: With fever, sore throat, throaty voice, dry cough, chest pain, loss of smell, and headache.
Third Type: No cough but with headache, occasional diarrhea, sore throat, loss of smell, and chest pain.
Severe Symptoms: Recommended for Hospitalization and Intensive Treatment
Fourth Type: fatigue, headache, throaty voice, fever, cough, chest pain, and, loss of smell.
Fifth Type: chest pain, muscle pain, loss of appetite, throaty voice, sore throat, chest pain, confusion, fatigue, headache, and loss of smell.
Sixth Type: Shortness of breath, occasional diarrhea, abdominal pain, chest pain, muscle pain, confusion, fatigue, headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, throaty voice, and sore throat.
The most commonly tagged symptom of mild cases of COVID-19 are headache, loss of smell, cough, and muscle pains. There are cases that an individual can be infected by COVID-19 but do not manifest fever-like symptoms. This could be much worse than asymptomatic cases as mild cases with no fever still excrete contagious droplets. Self-care and isolation are still expected from patients with mild or no symptoms.
Through the research, it was also discovered that the first three classifications of symptoms occur widely in younger patients than older ones. This is because their immune systems detect viruses earlier, allow the body to release antibodies, and potentially decrease the recovery time of an infected patient. Individuals with pre-existing conditions or are simply old usually manifest more severe symptoms and usually require ventilation support.
On the other hand, as the disease becomes more severe, the symptoms also become significantly worse. This includes a transition from chest pains to shortness of breath, sore throat to hoarseness, occasional diarrhea to abdominal pain, and headaches to the overall confusion. A loss of appetite also occurs in more severe patients. Lethargy, although not originally noted in the list above, is also a common symptom for severe patients. Feeling winded just by simply standing is common. Furthermore, a general loss of energy is also common for severe patients. There are also reports that chills are common in the first stages of an infection from the illness.
It must also be noted that the severity of symptoms of an individual suffering from COVID-19 infection could easily fluctuate. A person could be logging in the first type of symptoms at first but eventually suffer from symptom severity. If not treated immediately and properly, an individual could easily expire from the disease.
How relevant are these new findings?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) disease is fairly new and researches available about it is scarce. Almost all treatment methods are experimental, at this point. There are researches as well on treatment trials for the disease. There are recommendable drugs to treat the disease but the lack of supply definitely affects treatment methods.
Generally. doctors are widely focusing on the treatment of symptoms to help the body’s immune systems to speedily recover. Early intervention is very crucial in saving and prolonging a patient’s life. Once a clearer picture of the indicative symptoms of the disease has been painted, a workable method of treatment could be officially established. The categorization of COVID-19 symptoms may be able to aid in the selection of treatment methods for an infected individual. This could help in the reduction of the oversaturation of hospitals. Clinics and other quarantine facilities may be able to treat milder symptoms and leave care for severely infected patients to the hospitals.
The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the world has significantly affected the capacity of hospitals all over the world. Bed capacities for COVID-19 patients have used up allocations for other illnesses. After fighting COVID-19 nonstop for more than six months, it is inevitable that beds originally intended for non-COVID-19 patients both in the ICU and ward will be used up. The discovery of such symptom categories could reduce the exhaustion of hospitals and medical professionals. It could also help in increasing the number of beds originally intended for other diseases.
The downside to this, on the other hand, is the fact that people could become complacent. Some people might misinterpret the milder symptoms as non-infectious symptoms.