Researchers King’s College London identify 6 different types of coronavirus with increasing severity levels
Six distinct types of coronavirus have been identified by scientists in a breakthrough that promises to save lives by flagging the highest-risk patients. Analysis of thousands of cases by artificial intelligence software has revealed different “clusters” of symptoms and ranked them in order of severity. Each type was found to be distinguished by a particular cluster of symptoms. Moreover, the team found that these types differed in the severity of the disease and the need for respiratory support during hospitalization.
For example, patients with the sixth type of Covid-19 are nearly 10 times more likely to end up needing breathing support than patients in the first group. This is significant because often patients only deteriorate to a critical stage several days after showing symptoms.
The new ranking system could have major implications for clinical management of COVID-19, and could help doctors predict who is most at risk, who is likely to need hospital care in a second wave of coronavirus infections, and give doctors the opportunity to intervene earlier in the highest-risk cases.