With the continuous mutation of the novel coronavirus and the expanding list of its symptoms, it has become increasingly necessary to stay wary about the signs of COVID-19. The symptoms of this respiratory disease usually appear in a fixed pattern and being aware of that can prevent you from developing a serious infection. But as per a new finding, the symptoms of COVID-19 may surface differently in older adults as compared to others.
The symptom that may be missing in older adults
Every individual is equally prone to developing COVID infection, but the risk of the complication is higher among older adults and people with compromised immunity. Now, a new study suggests that a particular symptom of COVID-19 may show up differently for people over 65, which makes it easy to miss. As we all know that high fever is the early symptom of coronavirus, but people over 65 have a lower temperature, which simply means they experience a fever at a lower temperature. This could easily be missed out or confused with general fever.
According to the Mayo Clinic, normal body temperature of any individual stays somewhere between 98.6 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37°C to 37.2°C). When the temperature rises to 100.04 degrees Fahrenheit (38°C) it is considered as a fever. However, a new pre-print of a study out of King’s College London suggests that the normal body temperature of an individual and what constitutes as fever may vary as per age.
The researchers involved in the study stated that “ageing affects the temperature in health and acute infection”. Based on the findings of this study, the team of researchers concluded that the threshold of 99.32 degrees is equivalent to 100.04 degrees Fahrenheit in case of people over 65 and could be a sign of infection.
Missing out on low grade fever may increase the risk
Data suggest that about 55 per cent of people down with COVID-19 experience fever in the early days. This could be missed out in case of older adults because the current temperature threshold is too high. There are high chances that people above 65 may never hit the mark of 100.04 degrees Fahrenheit. It would delay the detection of infection caused due to coronavirus and getting the right treatment in time, which could put their lives in danger. In case of senior citizens, it is important to be extra careful. Even slightest change in their body temperature or health should not be taken lightly.
Delirium could be an early sign of COVID in adults
In case of older adults, you must look for signs of delirium, which is suggested to be an early warning sign of COVID-19 infection in senior citizens. As per a different study, delirium was the only symptom in several older patients who tested positive for the virus. Delirium is referred to as a state of confusion, inattention, disorientation, and other cognitive change. The finding of this study suggests that patients hospitalised for COVID-19, especially who needed ventilators, are known to be vulnerable to delirium, which could be due to the isolation imposed to limit coronavirus spread.
(Times of India)