- COVID-19 symptoms can vary widely in different people: Experts
- A majority of COVID-19 cases are estimated to be mild: WHO
- Mild cases can turn severe if COVID-19 remains untreated: Experts
New Delhi: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the body’s response to SARS-CoV-2, which is the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, varies from person to person depending on factors like age, immune system, underlying health conditions among other such factors. However, a majority of COVID-19 cases have been reported to have mild symptoms. This implies that most people infected with COVID-19 may not have severe prognosis or serious complications if they get the required treatment and attention in a timely manner.
While talking about types of COVID-19 infection cases, Dr. K K Aggarwal, President of the Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) and Former President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said,
Based on the intensity of the symptoms, COVID-19 infection cases were earlier categorised into ‘asymptomatic’ which are the cases with with no visible effect of the virus, ‘mild’ are the cases with no threat to life or need of hospitalization and ‘severe’ cases are those that are life-threatening and requiring hospitalization. But now, there are basically two kinds of infection- one that can be managed at home and the other that needs hospitalisation. All mild cases can be managed at home fairly easily.
He further said that in a mild case of COVID-19, the CT (computerized tomography) scan of the chest of a patient shows a less than 50 per cent pneumonia in the lungs. This needs to be maintained below 50 per cent level. However, if the proportions of the lungs affected by pneumonia starts increasing swiftly within 2-3 days of the infection, the patient is required to be admitted to a hospital immediately, he said.
Symptoms That Patients With Mild COVID-19 Experience
Dr. Aggarwal said that in a light COVID-19 cases, the viral load is mostly in the upper respiratory tract, making them experience symptoms of slight inflammation, some light fever and light cough, cold.
According to Dr. Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical- a home healthcare provider, the most common symptoms seen in mild COVID-19 cases are dry cough and light fever. He said,
Sore throat, headache, chills, body aches, loss of taste and smell are some of the other symptoms present in such cases. In many cases, the fever may not cross the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark. While it is generally higher in severe cases.
Dr. Sehgal added that some people with mild COVID-19 may feel sicker than others and may also suffer tiredness, fatigue, muscle aches and body pain. However, he said that mild cases do not experience more difficult symptoms like breathlessness, appetite loss, gastrointestinal infection, chilblains, fatigue, which makes it more manageable.
The experts, however, stressed that those who have a light case of COVID-19 can end up suffering serious complications if they take the infection casually. Dr. Sehgal said,
Symptoms can go from bad to worse in no time if due attention to recovery is not paid.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Mild Case Of COVID-19?
Mild COVID-19 case has a higher likelihood of recovery but it can be lengthy and challenging too. Dr. Sehgal said,
Psychologically, it is reassuring to hear that a patient is having only mild case of COVID-19 and is not hospitalized, but even these can be really hard on the body. Sometimes, despite the mild symptoms, recovery can take weeks, even after the patient tests negative.
He further said that there is always a risk of long-term effects, mental health issues, lung and heart problems among other, in the mild COVID-19 patients.
Experts highlighted that it may take about two weeks for the patient body to get over mild COVID-19, while for the sever cases, recovery can take up to six weeks.
You May Feel Well, But You Can Still Make Others Very Sick: Experts
Both experts cautioned that while people with mild COVID-19 may not feel too sick, yet they can be highly contagious and spread the infection onto others. Dr. Aggarwal asserted,
Before you even realize you are sick, you could easily pass it on to people who have a greater chance of developing complications, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. So, the most important duty of each one of us is to follow preventive measures like wearing masks and sanitising hands without a fail to protect others, follow social distancing and go in public only if necessary and self-quarantine immediately if you came in contact of someone who had contracted the infection or if you feeling sick.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.