Image: The COVID Symptom Study smartphone app (Photo courtesy of Zoe Global)
New data from a COVID-19 symptom tracking app reveals that there are six distinct types of the disease, each with its own cluster of symptoms.
Researchers from King’s College London (KCL; UK), Lund University (Sweden), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston, USA) and other institutions conducted a study that looked at Symptom presentation time series aggregation that was performed on data derived from a training dataset of completed cases, as collected from the COVID Symptom Study smartphone app, developed by Zoe Global.
The study, which was published on June 12, 2020, in medRxiv, identified six types of COVID-19:
• “Flu-like” without fever: headache, loss of smell, muscle pain, 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.
“Type four, five and six type patients were more likely to be admitted to the hospital and more likely to require respiratory support,” concluded co-lead author Claire Steves, MD, of KCL. , and his colleagues. “If you can predict who these people are on day 5, you have time to give them support and early interventions such as monitoring oxygen and blood sugar levels, and making sure they are are properly hydrated. “
Besides cough, fever, and loss of smell, often highlighted as three key symptoms of COVID-19, data from the app showed other symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, confusion, loss of appetite and shortness of breath.
King’s College London
Massachusetts General Hospital