COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal life to a great extent, not only in India but in several nations across the globe. Also Read: COVID-19: Understanding The Difference Between An Outbreak, Epidemic And Pandemic
Currently, there are over 19 million people worldwide who have contracted this severe respiratory illness triggered by SARS-CoV-2, a novel strain of coronavirus, with more than 710, 000 deaths. India is one of the worst-affected countries, where nearly 2 million individuals acquired COVID-19, with the deadly disease claiming as many as 41,000 lives so far.
With many variations of this contagious respiratory disorder being reported, much confusion still exists as to how exactly to identify if an individual has contracted COVID-19. It is hence the need of the hour to understand the causes, symptoms of the coronavirus infection and gain clarity on the different ways it can manifest in a person.
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In this regard, a team of scientists at the King's College in London, UK, has reported significant results from their in-depth research analysis of the distinguishing symptoms seen in people. They gathered vast volumes of data from a COVID-19 symptom tracking app, which helped in gauging what kind of indications arise in people in the initial stages of coronavirus infection.
Upon analysing the results, the team of expert scientists has concluded that there are six clusters or categories of COVID-19 infection. While the first three types are relatively low risk and only rarely cause serious lung problems, the latter three kinds of infection are quite grave, often giving rise to intense respiratory trouble, with the requirement of oxygen support and ventilator treatment.
Read on, to know more.
The 6 Clusters Of COVID-19 Infection:
Flu-Like With No Fever
In this kind of coronavirus infection, patients display headaches, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, but no fever. It is hence assumed by many at this stage that they are only suffering from seasonal colds or allergies, whereas they might actually be infected with the coronavirus. Also Read: Did You Just Cough Or Sneeze? Here’s How To Tell The Difference Between COVID-19 And Allergies
Flu-Like With Fever
This category of COVID-19 almost resembles the first type, with the only difference being that people also experience a rise in body temperature above the normal range of 96 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms include headache, muscle strain, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, chest pain, along with fever and loss of appetite.
The widely reported signs of headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, sore throat, chest pain are all witnessed in this class of patients right from the initial days of viral infection. However, in addition, they also develop prominent digestive problems in the stomach and intestines, like bloating, diarrhea, constipation.
Severe Level One, Fatigue
This stage indicates a marked rise in the severity of coronavirus infection. As people suffer from throbbing headaches, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, they also experience tightness in the chest and high levels of fatigue. This greatly affects their daily productivity and requires immediate medical care.
Severe Level Two, Confusion
This is quite an alarming stage of coronavirus infection. People report headaches, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain. Moreover, they go through excessive fatigue, mental exhaustion, confusion quite often in a day. As this signifies viral invasion into the nervous system, the patient must be hospitalized at once.
Severe Level Three, Abdominal And Respiratory
In this grave stage of COVID-19 infection, patients experience headaches, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion. In addition, they also report excruciating muscle pain, respiratory distress in lungs, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain and hence need emergency medical treatment.