3 Mild Symptoms Could Predict Which Coronavirus Patients Develop Severe Lung Disease, Research Suggests


The coronavirus pandemic has forced doctors to make difficult decisions about which patients get immediate medical care. 

In New York City, where more than 38,000 cases have been reported, hospitals are reserving tests for patients with severe illnesses, while people with mild cases — which can still be painful and long-lasting — have been told to stay home. But doctors still know very little about the symptoms that serve as warning signs of a severe case of COVID-19.

A new study from researchers at New York University used predictive analytics to determine the early signs of severe lung disease among COVID-19 patients. The researchers determined that three symptoms, taken together, were strong predictors of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening lung injury that might require a patient to be intubated.

The first factor was a slight increase in ALT, an enzyme that can signal the presence of liver damage or inflammation.

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