The researchers from King’s College London analyzed the data of a tracking application of coronavirus. They have identified six distinct types of COVID-19 based on the cluster of coronavirus symptoms.
The research team from King’s College London has proposed the types of coronavirus considering the severity level, the requirement of hospitalization for oxygen (breathing difficulty), or ventilator.
Researchers used the machine-learning algorithm from 1600 users (during March and April) from the United States and the United Kingdom. The people regularly logged the symptoms of coronavirus and were tested positive for the infection. Moreover, they also tested the algorithm on 1000 users from Sweden, the UK, and the US people infected in May.
The data of the COVID-19 Symptom Study application revealed the common symptoms of COVID-19; cough, fever, and sore throat, and the new symptoms of loss of smell. Apart from these, fatigue, muscle pains, headaches, diarrhea, confusion, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite are symptoms of coronavirus.
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Patients experience differences in the outcome and progression of these symptoms, as some people had mild-flu symptoms, and others had acute symptoms. The six types of coronavirus also considered as clusters of the virus are:
- Flu-like (no fever): Headache, muscle pains, cough, loss of smell, sore throat, and chest pain
- Flu-like (with fever): Headache, cough, sore throat, loss of smell, loss of appetite, hoarseness, and loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal (no cough): Headache, sore throat, loss of smell, loss of appetite, chest pain, and diarrhea
- Severe (level one): Fatigue, headache, fever, loss of smell, cough, chest pain, and hoarseness
- Severe (level two): Confusion, headache, cough, loss of appetite, loss of smell, fever, sore throat, chest pain, hoarseness, muscle pain, confusion, and fatigue
- Severe (level three): Abdominal pain and respiratory problems, headache, loss of appetite, loss of smell, fever, cough, hoarseness, chest pain, sore throat, fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and diarrhea.
The patients with clusters 4, 5, or 6 often require hospital and medical care for respiratory support and ventilator. The King’s College announced on its website,
“The findings have major implications for clinical management of COVID-19, and could help doctors predict who is most at risk and likely to need hospital care in the second wave of coronavirus infections.”
Moreover, the researcher said that when the doctors can predict the type of coronavirus in initial days of infection, it will provide assistance for medical professionals to monitor sugar levels, oxygen levels, and to ensure the hydration level. The patient can be provided care at home with appropriate measures to prevent hospitalization, exposure to severe infection, and it will be a step towards saving lives.