As you’re likely aware, COVID-19 severity is categorized into three groups: mild, moderate, and severe. But how do they differ?
The first thing one imagines when they hear “mild Covid” is having a low fever, sniffles, and maybe a sore throat for a few days. But this very hopeful definition we, non-professionals, imagine is very different from the way doctors see it.
Let’s begin by looking at the guidelines published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
As you can see, this definition means that even a case that’s considered mild can be quite debilitating, comparable to the worst flu you’ve ever had. Even in mild to moderate COVID-19, symptoms typically last for at least 9-10 days, but this time period could be extended to weeks or months.
In some studies or countries, the division is even cruder - all COVID-19 cases are distinguished as either severe or non-severe. Keep this in mind when you listen to the news.
What’s more, researchers also know that even a seemingly mild illness can take an ugly turn at any point. And probably most importantly, you have to remember that both mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 can lead to long-term complications. Studies on long-haul COVID-19 suggest that nearly 25% of Covid patients who were asymptomatic or exhibited mild symptoms develop long-term symptoms such as fatigue, migraines, and brain fog. "You can have mild Covid and still be a long hauler," Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert stated to CNN.
So, even if you get a mild or asymptomatic infection, chances are that you will feel miserable for weeks or even months. You must also remember that there’s still a lot we don’t know about the Omicron variant.
Share this information with family and friends!