Researchers identify 6 distinct groups of symptoms COVID-19


One of the tricky aspects of COVID-19 is that infected individuals experience a wide range of different diseases. The virus can wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal system of one patient, while it causes shortness of breath and fever in another.

To help sort through some confusion, a new study, which has not been peer reviewed, revealed six distinct versions of the disease – each with its own cluster of symptoms – that may be the most common is. What’s more, researchers at King’s College found that each category of symptoms was likely to have different levels of severity of illness and need for hospitalization, hoping that health care professionals were able to treat patients in early stages of the disease. May be able to predict needs.

“These findings have important implications for the care and monitoring of those most susceptible to severe COVID-19,” said advisory gyratician and lecturer at King’s College, Dr. Claire Steeves called it one of the researchers working in the study. .

Although cough, fever, and lack of smell are commonly underlined as the three major symptoms of COVID-19, researchers used data from a symptom-tracker app with more than 4 million users, leading to headaches, muscle A long list of additional symptoms, including pain, can be identified. Fatigue, diarrhea, confusion, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and more.

Honoring a subset of the data of approximately 1,600 users infected with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and the United States, the team identified six groups of symptoms noted below:

1. Flu-like with no fever: Headache, lack of smell, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.


2. Flu like fever: Headache, smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.

3. Gastrointestinal: Headache, lack of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.

4. severe level 1, fatigue: Loss of headache, smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.

5. Critical Level 2, Confusion: Headache, lack of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle aches.

6. Severe level 3, stomach and respiration: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle aches, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

The researchers then conducted further analysis to determine if people in particular symptom groups had suffered more severe illness and required breathing support.

They found 1.5% of patients in the first cluster, 4.4% in the second, and 3.3% in the third required breathing support. These figures were 8.6%, 9.9% and 19.8% for the third, fourth and sixth groups respectively. Nearly half of the patients in Cluster 6 ended up in hospital, compared to just 16% in the first part.

Subsequently, the team developed a model with patients’ age, sex, BMI, and pre-existing conditions, with symptoms detected five days before disease onset. It has been estimated which cluster the patient arrives in and requires hospitalization and breathing assistance with greater accuracy than the current risk model, which only age, gender, BMI And is based on pre-existing conditions.

Because patients who require breathing support typically come to the hospital for 13 days about the disease, according to the study authors, this model may be useful to doctors by providing “early warning” because of intensive care Most likely.

“” If you can estimate that these people are five days old, then you have time to monitor and support blood oxygen and glucose levels and give them early intervention, and to ensure that they are properly hydrated – Simple care that can be given at home, preventable hospitalization and saving lives, ”said Steeves.

UC Berkeley Professor of Infectious Disease and Vaccinology Drs. John Swartberg said the research has the potential to help doctors and other healthcare providers identify those who would need more robust interventions earlier.

“Of course, we’ll have to see how it performs in the ‘real world’,” said Swartberg, an expert at COVID-19 who did not work on the study. “With widespread use, it must ‘learn’ and become progressively more effective.”

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Amy Graff is the news editor of SFGATE. Email him: [email protected]

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