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Changes spotted in symptoms in Covid patients in Kolkata

Oxygen level stable in most patients: Doctors

Subhajoy Roy | Published 03.01.22, 12:23 PM
Representational image.

Representational image.

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Flu-like indications such as runny nose, irritation in the throat, headache and short-duration fever are some of the symptoms the current crop of Covid patients are showing, doctors said.

Hardly any patient is complaining of loss of taste and smell, a common symptom during the earlier waves of the pandemic. Drop in the oxygen saturation level — which many Covid patients had suffered from in earlier waves, often with fatal consequences — has been rare, too.

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Many of those who are admitted in hospitals had gone with other complaints and only tested positive for Covid during the mandatory screening before admission.

“The symptoms being noticed in those who are getting infected now are a lot like an upper respiratory tract infection. These patients are presenting themselves with flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, headache and irritation in the throat,” said Chandramouli Bhattacharya, an infectious diseases specialist at Peerless Hospital.

“In earlier phases, we noticed that many patients had fever that persisted for four to six days. But this time the overwhelming majority is having very mild fever. Even if someone is running a temperature of 101 or 102 degree Fahrenheit, it is subsiding in a day or two.”

Sutirtha De, an internal medicine specialist at MR Bangur Hospital, too, said most Covid patients were complaining of flu-like symptoms.

Among the other symptoms, doctors said, are loss of appetite and body ache. “The incidence of loss of smell and loss of taste is very low this time. Very few people are losing smell and taste,” said Sauren Panja, head of critical care at the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences.

“As of now I have not come across a single Covid patient whose oxygen saturation has dipped to critical levels. Out of the six patients admitted under my care, only one is requiring oxygen support,” said Bhattacharya. Panja said very few people were now developing severe Covid symptoms.

Panja and Bhattacharya both said most patients admitted in hospitals now had not gone with complaints of symptoms related to Covid. They had gone to the hospitals with other  complications and tested positive for Covid only during the pre-admission screening

Though there are less than 20 known omicron cases in Bengal so far, some doctors suspected that the rapid jump in daily infections could be because of the variant, which was first detected in South Africa in November and is highly transmissible because of a unique set of mutations.

A senior health department official has told the authorities of private hospitals that there are indications of community transmission of omicron as some people without any foreign travel history have tested positive for it.

Last updated on 04.01.22, 11:21 AM
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