Experts say it could be a game-changer. A breakthrough that could help give some of the most vulnerable victims a much-needed edge against the coronavirus.
It’s NOT a drug or a treatment. But rather a brand new approach that allows doctors to spot who’s most at risk for a more serious bout with the bug EARLY in the infection.
The problem, researchers say, is that everyone’s been looking at the pandemic as if we’ve been battling just ONE infection. But in reality, data from a symptom-tracking app reveals SIX different forms the COVID-19 infection can take.
Today, let’s sort out the symptoms of all six, so you know what to look for.
Identifying the types of coronavirus clusters
They’re calling them “clusters.” And while the same COVID-19 virus causes all six versions of the disease, some symptoms can be very different.
- Cluster one can resemble a severe cold. It comes with coughing and chest pain, a sore throat, and muscle ache, but there is no hint of a fever.
- Cluster two is more like the flu. It’s a lot like cluster one but comes with fever and – curiously – NO muscle pain.
- Cluster three, you can think of as the “stomach flu” variety. It comes with a loss of appetite and Other symptoms include headache, sore throat, and chest pain (but no coughing).
Clusters four, five, and six are the more severe forms of the infection.
- Cluster four is centered around headache, coughing, fever, and fatigue.
- Cluster five has all of four of cluster four’s symptoms plus sore throat, confusion, and muscle pain.
- Cluster six adds shortness of breath, diarrhea, and abdominal pain to the mix.
All six versions of the virus often include the strange loss of smell that many people experience.
Focusing on cluster symptoms could save lives
We now understand it isn’t JUST a matter of figuring out who’s got the virus and who doesn’t. The new study shows how classifying COVID-19 victims by cluster type could potentially give docs a leg up.
Of course, there’s still so much we don’t know about COVID-19. So it’s too early to tell if this is the game changer that researchers think it may be.
But there’s every reason to believe that knowing a person’s cluster could help doctors quickly identify which patients are likely to take a turn for the worse so they can start treatments earlier. And that COULD make all the difference when it comes to surviving a severe battle with the disease.
But remember, since many coronavirus cases never become severe, folks with non-critical infections are typically sent home to watch over themselves. It helps keep people out of hospitals. Plus, in most cases, patients prefer to recover at home anyway.
And the study uncovered two more important factors that can help you stay on top of things at home. When researchers took a deep dive into the data, it revealed the MOST important day of the infection and the MOST critical symptom to watch out for.
If you have SEVERE FATIGUE on the fifth day… especially if you’re in cluster four, five, or six… you’re much more likely to need more critical care.
So if you’re sick at home with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection… or have a loved one battling the coronavirus… you can now watch out for these specific cluster symptoms, especially that fifth-day fatigue.
If things take a turn, don’t hesitate. Call for help right away. Earlier treatment could help you recover faster.