AKIPRESS.COM - Researchers from King’s College London distinguished 6 ‘types’ of COVID-19 with different symptoms after analysis of data from the COVID Symptom Study app.
Moreover, the team found that these types differed in the severity of the disease and the need for respiratory support during hospitalization.
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 a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Although continuous cough, fever and loss of smell (anosmia) are usually highlighted as the three key symptoms of COVID-19, data gathered from app users shows that people can experience a wide range of different symptoms including headaches, muscle pains, fatigue, diarrhea, confusion, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and more.
The progression and outcomes also vary significantly between people, ranging from mild flu-like symptoms or a simple rash to severe or fatal disease, article states.
To find out whether particular symptoms tend to appear together and how this related to the progression of the disease, the research team used a machine learning algorithm to analyze data from a subset of around 1,600 users in the UK and US with confirmed COVID-19 who had regularly logged their symptoms using the app in March and April.
The six clusters include:
1. ‘Flu-like’ with no fever: Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
2. ‘Flu-like’ with fever: Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.
3. Gastrointestinal: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.
4. Severe level one, fatigue: Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
5. Severe level two, confusion: Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.
6. 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.