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Coronavirus: The four types of patients and symptoms

John Wilson, the president of Australia's Royal College of Doctors and an expert in respiratory illness has classified four types of coronavirus patient.

Milan (Italy), 24/03/2020.- Doctors and nurses work in the intensive care department of the Vizzolo Predabissi Hospital, dedicated to coronavirus patients, in Milan, Italy, 24 March 2020. (Italia) EFE/EPA/Andrea Canali
Andrea CanaliEFE

Coronavirus can present differently in patients and not everyone suffers in the same way once they have contracted the illness. The virus can live in the body for anywhere from 10 days to six weeks in more rare cases and it seems to have mutated from the original strand according to further research. John Wilson, the president of the Royal College of Doctors in Australia and a specialist in respiratory medicine has outlined four different groups to help us better understand the virus.

  1. The first group of people are asymptomatic. They have contracted the virus but do not show any signs of its effects. They are not immune given they have contracted the virus but barely show any signs.
  2. After that are people who show symptoms such as fever, cough, headaches and possibly conjunctivitis, which is the response to an infection to the upper respiratory system.
  3. The third group is likely the largest. These patients develop symptoms similar to the flu. High fever, severe headaches, dry cough and the other symptoms typically seen with the flu. These people need medical treatment and cannot function normally or go about their daily life.
  4. The last group are those who develop grave symptoms and pneumonia. These are people who tend to be older or have underlying diseases along with problems with their hearts, lungs, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Follow all the latest coronavirus developments live.

Coronavirus Pandemic in Italy, China and around the world

The first case of coronavirus at a global level was discovered in Wuhan, China although at that point in Italy they had already started to detect patients with pneumonia in higher rates than normal. The World Health Organisation has diagnosed the situation as a pandemic and say it is accelerating with over 400,000 people diagnosed with the virus around the world and more than 17,000 deaths.


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