Coronavirus 4th wave: Amidst confusion over possibility of fourth COVID wave, here are the common symptoms of the infection seen so far – Times of India

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COVID is far from being over, though the number of cases are declining worldwide. The COVID causing coronavirus is the first of its kind virus that emerged in 2019 and swept the world with disastrous effects in three massive waves of infection.
While the third wave of the COVID has ebbed, since early March, 2022 there have been debates on the possibility of a fourth wave of COVID, however no concrete evidence has come to fore ascertaining the possibility.
While the chances of another wave seems unavoidable considering the mutating nature of the virus, the only thing that can help us remain prepared for the situation is understanding the signs and symptoms of the infection. In 2020, since it was the first of its kind viral attack, people were not aware of the symptoms and were mostly driven by wrong information.
Two years later, and having survived through three waves of infection, here are the common symptoms of COVID infection seen so far:
The first wave of the COVID was led by the novel coronavirus which was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. During its emergence neither the healthcare facility was adequately equipped nor the population was sufficiently educated about the virus.

During the first wave of the infection, common symptoms like cold, fever, headache, weakness, lethargy, lack of appetite, were seen in the infected people.
During this time, what worsened the panic among people is one peculiar symptom which is loss of taste and smell. Though slight reduction in these senses is observed during common colds, during COVID these senses seemed to have vanished completely from people. During the course of quarantine, which was mostly for 14 days, people could not taste or smell anything. This sign persisted for months and affected the overall health of older adults particularly.
Cited as the most disastrous phase of COVID pandemic by health experts, the second wave was led by the aggressive mutant of coronavirus, the Delta variant. This is the first time a mutant took over the pandemic and swept across millions of population worldwide.

This wave originated from India and broke the backbone of the medical and health infrastructure of the country.
Few common symptoms seen during this phase were: body ache, back pain, headache, fever, cough, loss of smell and taste, tingling sensation in fingers and toes, breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue and weakness.
One of the most peculiar observations during this phase of the pandemic was that more young people were affected this time. In mid-April, 2021, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said in a press conference that of the total number of patients, more than 65 percent are below 45 years of age. Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka were severely affected by the second wave.
People had still not recovered from the shock of the second COVID wave and were still mourning for the lost ones when experts warned of the emergence of another mutant, known as Omicron, in South Africa. Within no time, the mutant found its way into the rest of the world. Considered to be the most transmissible variant of COVID, Omicron took over Delta within a few days and infected people.

Hospitalization cases were comparatively less in the third wave than they were in the second wave.
The common symptoms seen during this wave were: sore throat, headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, fever, cough, and extreme weakness.
Vaccination is said to be the reason behind why the Omicron variant could not have a disastrous impact during the third wave.

India rolled out its COVID vaccination programme, one of the largest in the world, in January 2021. The vaccination programme was done in phases for various age groups. Currently, senior citizens are receiving the precaution dose, which is a booster for the immunity memory and kids aged 12 years and above are receiving the first dose of the vaccine.
Read: Know how Nipah virus spreads and what are the common symptoms

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