Version: Dec. 5, 2020, 8:03 a.m.
The severity of COVID-19 varies. The disease may take a mild course with few or no symptoms, resembling other common upper respiratory diseases such as the common cold. Mild cases typically recover within two weeks, while those with severe or critical diseases may take three to six weeks to recover. Among those who have died, the time from symptom onset to death has ranged from two to eight weeks. The Italian Istituto Superiore di Sanità reported that the median time between the onset of symptoms and death was twelve days, with seven being spent hospitalised. However, people transferred to an ICU had a median time of ten days between hospitalisation and death. Prolonged prothrombin time and elevated C-reactive protein levels on admission to the hospital are associated with severe course of COVID-19 and with a transfer to ICU. Some early studies suggest 10% to 20% of people with COVID-19 will experience symptoms lasting longer than a month. A majority of those who were admitted to hospital with severe disease report long-term problems including fatigue and shortness of breath. On 30 October 2020 WHO chief Tedros has warned that "to a significant number of people, the COVID virus poses a range of serious long-term effects". He has described the vast spectrum of COVID-19 symptoms that fluctuate over time as "really concerning." They range from fatigue, a cough and shortness of breath, to inflammation and injury of major organs – including the lungs and heart, and also neurological and psychologic effects. Symptoms often overlap and can affect any system in the body. Infected people have reported cyclical bouts of fatigue, headaches, months of complete exhaustion, mood swings and other symptoms. Tedros has underlined that therefore herd immunity is "morally unconscionable and unfeasible".
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