Coronavirus Symptoms: How Onset Of COVID Symptoms Are Different During The First Wave And The Second Wave
There has been a big difference in the way the coronavirus pandemic has played out in India, last year and this year. While the disease remains relatively new and vaccines by our side, lakhs of people are still catching the infection and suffering from severe outcomes. Whether it is the high infectivity of the mutant strains, or lack of COVID appropriate behaviour, the second wave of infections is more infectious than the first one. There’s also a change in symptoms, and the way severity rises.
02/7First wave vs second COVID wave in India: What fueled the rise?
The mutant COVID strains, and the much recently declared ‘variant of concern’, India’s double mutant virus is said to have caused a big surge in cases across the state. Not only are the mutant strains many times more infectious than the original one, it is also giving rise to complications, early-stage severity and hospitalization risk for even the young and healthy.
According to medical experts, the current wave of infections has also cropped up a difference in the way symptoms show up, and the ones which could be worrisome.
With fears of a third wave of infections approaching India soon, by and large, these are the most typical symptoms that differentiate the second wave of infections from the first one:
03/7High- level lung involvement in the early stage
Medical reports suggest that there’s a high chance of lung involvement, upto 25% in most cases hit by the mutant coronavirus strain especially amongst the younger age groups now. This is also becoming one of the biggest reasons for increased hospitalization and oxygen support.
Lungs are also the most profoundly hit organ in cases of COVID and cause a lot of respiratory issues, including COVID pneumonia, diseased lung progression seen from day 2 or 3 of symptom onset, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and many more pulmonary complications as well. Severe level of breathlessness, chest pain, persistent coughing and signs of pneumonia all point to evidence of lung problems and involvement.
04/7Breathlessness and low oxygen levels
Oxygen deprivation is a big complication that could strike with COVID-19 cases. From what has been observed, there’s now a rising demand for supportive oxygen and critical care resources by COVID-19 patients because of sudden dips in oxygen saturation levels, which could strike patients in the first week of recovery. SP02 levels below 92% are considered to be critical and require emergent care. Breathing difficulties at the onset of infection, which can leave patients gasping for air can decrease oxygen saturation levels and result in lung damage, and in some cases, multiple organ failure as well.
05/7Fever, cough are not the only first signs of infections
Fever and cough are considered to be the classic signs of the infection. However, they may not be the only signs of infection to watch out for. The mutant strains of coronavirus have the ability to attack the body more sharply and cause a barrage of symptoms, which can hit a patient much before fever or a cough. Unusual symptoms seen during the second wave of infections include hearing loss, dry mouth, red, bloodshot eyes, skin rashes and conjunctivitis.
06/7Gastrointestinal tract symptoms
Over 40% of COVID-19 cases report gastrointestinal symptoms. Not only are they usually associated with a severe form of COVID infection, but they could also be early indicators of being hit by the mutant virus during the second wave of infections. Right now, the most reported GI symptoms of COVID-19 include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, metabolic imbalance, difficulty eating and unexpected weight loss.
Since gastrointestinal symptoms are not just widely associated with COVID and confused with stomach flu, it can be very confusing to diagnose infections, which could further contribute to a spread of infections
07/7Weakness and lethargy
Unnerving fatigue could also be a sign of coronavirus to be watched out, right now. Many COVID+ patients now attest to feeling extremely tired and fatigued prior to the onset of their symptoms. Lethargy, tiredness and weakness could also strike in the early days and easily go unnoticed.
While these could be hard pressing symptoms to deal with, fatigue and tiredness could be early responses initiated by the immune system as it begins to fight out the viral load in the body and linger on for long, sometimes days or weeks after fighting off the infection.