With the graph of Covid-19 cases again rising exponentially, there are at least over 2,00,000 fresh cases recorded as of April 20, 2021, due to the second wave of the SARS-CoV 2 virus. Even as were finally beginning to understand the ongoing strains and immunize people with the vaccines, the virus has made a fearsome comeback and is raging with renewed fury across the country. According to the scientific researches and studies, the surge is partly fuelled by new strains of the coronavirus, including a more infectious homegrown variant found in 61% of samples genome sequenced in Maharashtra, the worst hit state. These newer Covid strains are not only highly infectious but also bringing along severe symptoms and complications for even the young and healthy.
Many states are repeatedly reporting about shortages of hospital beds, oxygen supply, medicines, and even space in morgues and crematoriums.
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With the available knowledge we gathered since last year, we now know that Covid-19 can chiefly be categorized into 5 groups; mainly asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe and critical. Whilst the majority of populace are reported experiencing a mild or asymptomatic coronavirus infection, there are also a certain percentage of people who have reportedly developed far more serious and even life-threatening symptoms and complications.
But it must be kept in mind that the symptoms of the highly infectious SARS-COV2 can quickly progress from mild to worse and require immediate attention. The first week of infection, i.e., the incubation period is crucial since this is the time when the viral load peaks. Staying observant and being aware of symptoms should be the top priority. Even people suffering from low-grade cases with mild to moderate symptoms should constantly monitor day-to-day symptoms to determine whether the infection has become severe and the patient needs prompt medical intervention.
Well, foray through this article to know more about the critical or life-threatening symptoms that might require immediate treatment and hospitalization.
Critical Symptoms That Risk Hospitalization
Difficulty In Breathing
Shortness of breath or a laboured breathing can be one of the first and foremost signs of worsening of the infection. When a person is infected with the contagious coronavirus, the pathogen quickly spreads and attacks the healthy cells in the upper respiratory tract and the airways, disrupts normal oxygen transfer, making it difficult to breathe. If you are aware of the infection and suddenly feel breathlessness while doing some work, walking up the stairs or just pacing around, do consult a doctor and take immediate help to prevent the infection from getting severe.
Dip In Oxygen Saturation Levels
When a person contracts the SARS-CoV 2 virus, there are chances that he/she may also develop COVID pneumonia which inflames the air sacs in the lungs, filling them with fluid or pus and eventually dipping the oxygen levels in the body. A low saturation of oxygen levels is extremely concerning and hence requires immediate attention. While patients already hospitalized are monitored regularly, those diagnosed with a mild infection are asked to keep a note of the oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter as sometimes the infection may suddenly worsen while dipping the oxygen levels without the patient even realizing it.
According to the WHO, altered consciousness or confusion, often termed as delirium may be an initial symptom of COVID-19, sometimes even before fever, cough and other common symptoms. However, in older adults, a viral infection like COVID-19, fever, and hypoxemia may in turn trigger delirium. A worsened infection is often characterized by sudden mood swings, experiencing bouts of confusion, feeling sleepy or sluggish. Immediate care is required if you suddenly feel difficulty carrying out simple tasks or even speaking.
Bluish-black discolouration of the lips or other parts of the face is a primary sign that oxygen levels are depleting to critical levels and the person may be suffering from silent hypoxia, a condition when oxygen levels in the body are abnormally low, which can irreparably damage vital organs if gone undetected for too long. Hence, do connect to a doctor and take immediate medical attention.
Listed as one of the severe symptoms of Covid-19 by the WHO, chest pain usually occurs due to the attack of the pathogen on the mucosal linings in the lungs resulting in a tugging pain or discomfort in and around the chest area. If you suddenly experience growing pains near or under the breast bone, do report to a hospital and get diagnosed to avoid complications.
Apart from the above-mentioned critical symptoms, it is extremely crucial to even keep a note of worsening of the mild to moderate symptoms including fever, dry cough, headache, body pain, tiredness, diarrhoea, runny or stuffy nose and sore throat so as to be ready to get help from emergency services.