After analyzing data from a widely-used COVID-19 symptom-tracking app, British scientists at King’s College London have revealed that there are six very different types of the disease that could be detected by a cluster of symptoms.
The team found that the six types also were associated with different levels of severity of the infection including the likelihood of a patient needing help with breathing such as oxygen or ventilator treatment if they are hospitalized.
The new revelations could help doctors to predict which COVID-19 patients are most at risk and need immediate hospital care during the future waves of the pandemic. The outcomes also differed significantly as some got mild, flu-like symptoms or a rash and others suffered acute symptoms or died.
The study which is yet to be peer-reviewed by independent scientists was released online with descriptions of the six COVID-19 types.
Six distinct COVID-19 types
- ‘Flu-like’ with no fever: Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
- ‘Flu-like’ with fever: Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.
- Gastrointestinal: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.
- Severe level one, fatigue: Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
- Severe level two, confusion: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.
- 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 researchers said that patients with level 4,5 and 6 types were more likely to be admitted to hospital and more likely to need respiratory support.