There Are 6 Different "Types" of COVID and This Is the One You Don't Want
A new study has grouped coronavirus symptoms by severity, and one type is deadlier than others.
Months into the coronavirus pandemic, we're still learning about COVID-19's many diverse symptoms. Beyond the most common signs of COVID, the virus can also wreak havoc on every part of your body, from your skin to your hair. Thankfully a new study classified these symptoms into groups to help doctors and patients gauge the severity of each case. They grouped coronavirus patients into six types, each with their own set of symptoms, ranging from the most mild to the most severe.
To do that, researchers at King's College London analyzed data from 1,600 patients in the U.S. and U.K. who used a COVID-19 tracking app through the months of March and April. They found that among these distinct types of the coronavirus, patients who fell into the last three types—the most dangerous ones—tended to be older and have pre-existing conditions. To find out what group of symptoms you don't want to experience, read on. And for more warning signs you should watch for, check out the 23 Shocking Signs of COVID-19 You Didn't Know About.
Type 1: Flu-like with no fever
The first type of COVID-19 has the most minor set of symptoms and can often be confused with other illnesses. Patients in this category exhibit the following flu-like symptoms: headaches, loss of smell (anosmia), muscle pains, cough, sore throat, and chest pain. However, they don't have one key component: a fever. And for more on that, check out This Tell-Tale Coronavirus Symptom Is Becoming Less Common, Doctor Says.
Type 2: Flu-like with fever
This group has similar coronavirus symptoms to Type 1, but they are a little bit more severe. Type 2 patients experience flu-like symptoms with a fever. Those in the second group have headaches, loss of smell and appetite, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, and fever. And for more common coronavirus symptoms, check out 96 Percent of COVID Patients Have At Least One of These Symptoms.
Type 3: Gastrointestinal
Gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19 were a rather surprising discovery at the start of the pandemic. Patients in this group 3 reported having bouts of diarrhea in addition to chest pain, sore throat, headaches, and loss of smell and appetite. The only surprise in this cluster is that many didn't experience a cough.
Type 4: Severe level one (fatigue)
If you are in this group or any of the following, you'd be considered as having a severe coronavirus case. Type 4 patients have headaches, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, and chest pain as well as intense fatigue. Fatigue has been found to linger for weeks if not months after the infection subsides, causing patients to feel exhausted and unable to perform day-to-day tasks. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Type 5: Severe level two (confusion)
This is one of the most terrifying types of COVID-19 because it affects your mental health as well as your physical health. People in this group report having headaches, loss of smell and appetite, cough, hoarseness, sore throat, chest and muscle pain, fever, fatigue, and confusion. The latter symptom is one of the many "neurological abnormalities" discovered in dozens of COVID-19 studies around the world, along with extreme delirium. In fact, some hospitalized coronavirus patients said they experienced nightmarish hallucinations, paranoia, and confusion. And for more on this, check out These Common Symptoms Could Mean COVID Is in Your Brain.
Type 6: Severe level three (abdominal and respiratory)
The final type of coronavirus is the most lethal because it involves a deadly combination of all the gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms listed above. Not only would you face the typical issues—chest pain, sore throat, headache, cough, fever, fatigue, loss of smell and appetite, muscle pain, and hoarseness—but you'd also have to contend with confusion, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The researchers discovered that nearly half of the patients in this cluster were eventually hospitalized, compared to only 16 percent in the first type. And for more scary signs of COVID-19, check out the 4 Coronavirus Symptoms Most Likely to Be Deadly.