New Study Identifies Six Different Types, Severities of COVID-19

Doctors hope they will be better able to treat patients with new info

A new study from King’s College London based on data from a symptom tracker app, determined that there are six distinct “types” of the disease involving different clusters of symptoms. The discovery could potentially open new possibilities for how doctors can better treat individual patients and predict what level of hospital care they would need.

Researchers studied data from approximately 1,600 U.K. and U.S. patients who regularly logged their symptoms in the COVID Symptom Tracker App in March and April.

The six clusters of symptoms outlined in the study are:

  1. Flu-like with no fever: Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
  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.
  4. Severe level one, fatigue: Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
  5. Severe level two, confusion: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.
  6. Severe level three, 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, abdominal pain.

The first level, “flu-like with no fever,” is associated with headaches, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat and chest pain. Patients at this level have a 1.5% chance of needing breathing support such as oxygen or a ventilator. The likelihood of needing a ventilator increases by level, topping out around 20 percent for “severe level three.”

“Those are the severe level threes who wind up on a ventilator, and then it is touch-and-go as to whether they survive the infection entirely,” Dr. Bob Lahita told CBS News.

Patients in the severe classifications tended to be older and have greater preexisting conditions, according to the researchers. 

SOURCE: CBS News

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