The pandemic COVID-19 has taken a new turn with mutation of the virus, and newer symptoms are being experienced by the patients. This article will explain this in detail.
The world experienced a new pandemic called COVID-19 last year, and it was brought under control to some extent. The causative organism was Coronavirus which affects the nose, sinuses, or upper throat. But, soon, there were double and triple mutant types of this virus that again started affecting human beings. This brought a change or addition to the symptoms being experienced by the patients. This infection can spread from one individual to another through aerosols or direct contact, which makes it more communicable.
A study was done in China, which initially revealed that there are 2 strains of virus named L and S. The S type was older, but the outbreak showed involvement of L strain. As any virus has the potential to mutate itself, this virus has also shown double, triple mutations.
It is practically not possible to tell the exact period for the existence of this pandemic, so to control the spread of this infection, a team effort is necessary.
As the virus infects the respiratory system predominantly, the following signs and symptoms may be experienced by the patient. It has to be remembered that individuals may be asymptomatic too.
The main symptoms are as follows:
Difficulty in breathing.
Shortness of breath.
Fatigue or tiredness.
Presence of chills (sometimes it can be associated with shaking).
Congestion or runny nose.
There can be a loss of taste or smell.
Apart from these, the virus can progress and cause respiratory failure, pneumonia, heart disorders, liver disorders, septic shock, and ultimately death. It is necessary to seek medical advice and help if the following symptoms are being experienced:
Difficulty in breathing.
Presence of chest pressure or continuous chest pain.
Inability to wake up completely.
Presence of any new confusion.
Bluish discoloration of face and lips.
Also, keep a note of strokes as some COVID-19 patients have also reported strokes. In stroke, there are changes in the face, arms, and speech. With the mutation of the virus, some new symptoms are being faced by the patients recently like,
Tingling in the hands.
Itchiness in the body.
Increase in blood pressure.
Also, patients are asymptomatic.
The symptoms can be experienced as early as 2 days or even 14 days. Also, for the new diagnostic tests, apart from RT-PCR, the CT scan value is important. A CT scan value equal to or less than 35 indicates COVID-19 positive. If the CT scan value falls below 22, then it indicates that the patient requires immediate hospitalization. Some hospitalized COVID-19 patients have shown the presence of dangerous blood clots, including lungs, legs, arteries, etc.
If you came in contact with an infected patient or have traveled, or experienced any of the symptoms, quarantine yourself. The following can be followed:
The best method is to quarantine yourself for at least 2 weeks.
If you are COVID-positive, isolate yourself.
If you have any difficulty in breathing, call your doctor and follow their advice.
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 both affect the respiratory system and are contagious, but the causative viruses are different. Flu is caused by the influenza virus. Talking about spread, COVID-19 spreads more rapidly than flu.
Coronavirus is new. Hence, we are not immune to it when compared to the common cold. The symptoms can mimic flu, but there is a severe progression of the symptoms in some cases. Although the body is supposed to produce antibodies after getting in contact with the virus, the whole effect is not known yet.
Anyone is prone to contract it, and most of the infections are mild. Elderly people are more at risk of developing severe symptoms. The following can also make you more prone to develop it:
Kidney disorders are there for longer periods.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Organ transplanted patients.
Sickle cell disease.
Serious heart disorders like heart failure or coronary artery disease.
Type 2 diabetes.
The following conditions can lead to severe COVID-19 illness:
Increased blood pressure.
Moderate to severe asthma.
Disorders of blood vessels.
Immunocompromised patients like HIV patients, patients taking corticosteroids, organ transplanted patients, etc.
Damaged or scarred lung tissue (pulmonary fibrosis).
Type 1 diabetes.
In children and teens, doctors have observed an inflammatory condition called a multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It has been noticed in those children and teens who were hospitalized. It causes symptoms that mimic toxic shock and Kawasaki disease.
Get vaccinated. It is a major step toward prevention. Also, follow the following steps:
Wash your hands regularly or sanitize them.
It is important to follow social distancing.
Wear a mask and protective eyewear, especially when in public.
Do not touch your face, especially, eyes, ear, or nose.
Maintain personal as well as environmental hygiene. Clean and disinfect your belongings and yourself.
Coronavirus causing COVID-19 has brought a huge change in our lives. Initially, it is represented with various symptoms, and with its mutation, it is causing various other symptoms too. It is important to know about it to keep us and others safe. Also, this will help in early reporting, early measures, and a better prognosis. Online medical platforms provide a wonderful platform to contact your physician or specialist to maintain all the COVID-19 norms. Hence, to know more about it, consult a specialist.
Last reviewed at:
26 May 2021 - 4 min read
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