Coronavirus: changing symptoms

Given the proliferation of new strains, scientists analyzed how the symptoms of COVID-19 changed and which became dominant.

British researchers have found, according to News Medical, how the main symptoms of COVID-19 have changed now, with the spread of the delta variant, compared to the manifestations of the alpha strain, which prevailed last year. The results of the study are published on medRxiv.

Scientists analyzed patient histories and a huge number, more than 5 million, of PCR test results. Testing was conducted from April 2020 to August 2021 in the UK, 20,000 of them (0.67%) were positive.

The main symptoms of the coronavirus today are loss of taste and smell, dry cough, and high fever. But in fact, there are much more of them. In the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screening protocols, the symptom list is:

fever or chills; cough, shortness of breath; loss of taste, smell; fatigue; muscle or body pain; headache; nasal congestion, runny nose; sore throat; nausea, vomiting; diarrhea.

Last year, when the alpha variant of the coronavirus prevailed, patients reported predominantly coughs, sore throat, fever, and loss of smell and taste, according to a study.

In May 2021 and later, when the delta variant became dominant, in addition to the four “main” symptoms, massive headache complaints were added. This symptom, combined with a runny nose and sore throat, is characteristic of partially vaccinated persons.

Every second of those infected with Delta complained of severe weakness, excessive fatigue and muscle pain. Approximately 30% reported a loss of smell and taste. Moreover, these symptoms are most pronounced in patients from the age group of 20-30 years.

For the delta variant, which dominates in Europe, the first manifestations of COVID-19 are weakness and increased fatigue, and only then head and muscle pains, coughing, loss of smell and taste appear.

The authors of the study emphasize that the number and variety of symptoms, their severity, depend on the availability of vaccination and viral load. Even after the first dose, the likelihood of symptomatic COVID-19 decreases.

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