The seven Covid-19 modules at a glance


06 November 2020 – 3:42 pm Clock

Corona is not the same as Corona

It is now known that Covid 19 diseases can manifest themselves in a variety of different symptoms. Now a new study suggests that the symptoms of Covid-19 mild courses can be summarized into seven groups.

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Covid-19: Some groups of symptoms occur together

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna found that some symptom clusters usually occur together. They looked at which defense cells and antibodies were detectable ten weeks after infection in cured Covid-19 patients. They also asked the 109 study participants what symptoms they were experiencing. All convalescents have had a rather mild course of Covid-19. A control group consisted of 98 healthy people. The scientists published their findings in the European Journal of Allergy and Immunology.

These recorded symptom clusters suggest that there are seven different forms of the disease with a mild course of Covid-19. “We were able to clearly differentiate systemic from organ-specific forms of primary Covid-19 disease,” said Winfried Pickl, one of the study’s authors.

Systemic or organ-specific

The first variant of Covid-19 is therefore characterized by flu-like symptoms: fever, fatigue and cough. A second form is more likely to show symptoms of the common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, dry throat, and nasal congestion. The third variant Covid manifests itself only or mainly through joint and muscle pain, a fourth through pronounced ocular and mucous membrane inflammation.

A fifth symptom complex is lung problems with pneumonia and shortness of breath. In the sixth form, those affected suffer mainly from gastrointestinal problems with diarrhea, nausea and headache. Finally, the seventh form of the disease is the loss of smell and taste. “In the latter group, we found that loss of smell and taste increasingly affects people with a ‘young immune system’, as measured by the number of T cells recently migrated from the thymus,” says Pickl.

Corona leaves an immunological footprint

Regardless of the variant of acute Covid 19 disease, there are many similarities in terms of long-term immunological consequences. As a result, SARS-CoV-2 leaves a kind of immunological imprint in the immune system and blood of the convalescents. The number of white blood cells, otherwise responsible for fighting bacterial pathogens in the immune system, is significantly lower than normal in Covid convalescents. There are more memory cells for this and the cytotoxic CD8 + T cells remain strongly activated. One of their jobs is to kill virus-infected cells.

The stronger the affected person’s fever, the higher the levels of antibodies against the virus. “This shows that the immune system is still struggling with the disease many weeks after the first infection,” says Pickl. These immunological changes may also help explain some of the long-term effects of Covid-19. Many patients continue to suffer from fatigue, neurological symptoms or heart problems weeks after they presumably survived the infection. Type 1 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease could also be triggered or at least favored by Covid-19, as some studies suggest.

The scientists stress that their findings contribute to a better understanding of the disease and may also aid in the development of possible vaccines, “as we can now rely on promising biomarkers and carry out even better monitoring.”

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