Early on in the pandemic, one thing became immediately clear: COVID-19 is not a one-size-fits-all virus. Some people become infected and never experience a single symptom, while others end up hooked up to a ventilator. And, a small percentage of people even suffer a mild infection followed by several months of prolonged and debilitating symptoms. During a presentation at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's virtual conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, discussed "the most disastrous pandemic that we have experienced in our civilization in over 102 years." During his talk, he also outlined the five different types of COVID-19 manifestations, which everyone should know about. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Of those who do suffer symptoms, 81% experience a mild to moderate form of the virus. "Interestingly, there's a somewhat unique loss of smell and taste in some individuals that precede the onset of respiratory symptoms," Fauci explained. Other symptoms the majority of people experience include a dry cough, fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath.
Severe to Moderate Infections
According to Dr. Fauci, around one-fifth of those who experience symptoms fall into the most serious category. "About 15 to 20% are either severe or critical with a case fatality rate that varies from a few percent to up to 20 to 25% for people requiring mechanical ventilation," he revealed. He also pointed out that people at risk for severe COVID disease fall into two major categories—older adults and those with certain underlying conditions — including those with obesity, hypertension, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. As for symptoms, "the most prevalent is a form of acute respiratory distress syndrome," he revealed. He added that some people are also experiencing "protean manifestations that can occur as cardiac dysfunction relating to cardiac inflammation, leading to arhythmia's cardiomyopathies and often sudden deaths in relatively young individuals." Additionally, some people experience "a variety of neurological disorders, acute kidney injury, and a very peculiar hypercoagulability manifested by microthrombi and small vessels and thromboembolic phenomenon sometimes leading to acute strokes, even in young, otherwise healthy individuals."
A good number of people become infected with COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic, according to Dr. Fauci. "We know now that about 40 to 45% of people have absolutely no symptoms at all," he said.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
Fauci also touched upon a condition, "a multisystem inflammatory syndrome seen in children," adding that it was "very reminiscent of Kawasaki's disease."
Long Hauler Syndrome
Lastly, he discussed long hauler syndrome. "Some people have what we call a post COVID-19 syndrome," he said. This condition, "characterized by shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, forms of dysautonomia"—where your nervous system malfunctions—"as well as what people refer to as brain fog or a real difficulty in focusing and concentrating," can be ongoing for months and months, with some people still experiencing the debilitating symptoms. If you've experienced any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, contact a medical professional. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.