PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A new study out of London looked at people with coronavirus in both the United States and the United Kingdom and found there are six distinct types of the disease that all have a cluster of certain symptoms.
So what are we seeing most of here in Arizona?
“In my experience, it would be paralleling what they’re seeing in this study,” said emergency medicine doctor Frank Lovecchio.
Lovecchio said the new study echoes the situation in Arizona, in terms of COVID-19 symptoms broken down into clusters.
Researchers from King’s College London looked at about 1,600 COVID patients and found six distinct groupings:
1. (‘flu-like’ with no fever): Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
2. (‘flu-like’ with fever): Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.
3. (gastrointestinal): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.
4. (severe level one, fatigue): Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
5. (severe level two, confusion): Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, cough, fever, hoarseness, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, muscle pain.
6. (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.
The researchers found rarely did anybody in the first three groups need any breathing support, and on the other hand, found nearly half of the patients at level six ended up in the hospital.
In Arizona, demographics play a big role.
“I have a couple of teen daughters, and a lot of their friends fall into the category of flu-like illness for a day or two with or without fever, and then nothing else,” said Lovecchio.
According to the Arizona State Health Department, the 20-44 age group has the highest COVID numbers in the state by far.
UArizona College of Medicine doctor Shad Marvasti said that age group often falls into those first three categories with less severe symptoms.
“The 4, 5, 6, also tend to be associated with people with chronic conditions, so that linkage validates that a little bit more,” said Dr. Marvasti.
Dr. Marvasti said while the disease may be more infectious but less fatal in Arizona, especially among the younger people, the findings in this study could help doctors predict who will need critical care.
“That adds another layer in terms of our toolbox as physicians to say, ‘Okay this is really serious, you really need to be evaluated more closely and come into the hospital, versus somebody who you could say, ‘I think we can monitor you more closely at home,” said Dr. Marvasti. “It would be really great in terms of hospital capacity.”
The study will soon undergo peer review.