Second wave of COVID-19 sees mainly mild cases

Cai Wenjun
People with a second infection usually have less serious symptoms than the first time and the duration of the infection is also shorter.
Cai Wenjun

Infectious disease experts in Shanghai said the city is undergoing a second wave of COVID-19 infections, however, patients' symptoms are much milder, with more abundant medical sources; there are very few serious cases or deaths.

The patients include those who are infected for both the first and second time. People with second infection usually have less serious symptoms than the first time and the duration is also shorter.

Dr Zhang Wenhong from Huashan Hospital, director of the National Center for Infectious Disease, said the first people to test positive in this round were those who were not infected previously.

"Though we are still in this round of infection and the wave may last for a long time, it won't cause serious effects to life," he said on Thursday.

"The management of COVID-19 will gradually become the same as with flu. That means vulnerable people like the elderly and people at high risk like medical staff are encouraged to receive vaccinations regularly," he said.

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reports of COVID-positive cases started to rise from late April, and were especially high the first week after the May Day holiday. The rising tendency has slowed in the recent week and monitoring found most cases are mild.

CDC officials said certain regions may see a continuous increase of COVID patients, while there is scant possibility of a nationwide pandemic causing huge drains on medical or social operations.

Dr Hu Bijie from Zhongshan Hospital's infectious disease department said the number of patients presenting with fevers had dropped recently and most of them had only mild symptoms like fever and throat ache.

"People with second infection usually have milder symptoms than the first one. But vulnerable people like the elderly and those with chronic diseases should be alert, as they are more likely to develop serious symptoms. Such people should do a nucleic acid test in time if they develop symptoms like fever or if family members are infected with COVID-19, and take anti-viral medicine early."

Second wave of COVID-19 sees mainly mild cases
Ti Gong

Dr Liu Danwei, director of the respiratory disease department of Shanghai Yida Hospital, talks to a patient with throat pain.

Dr Liu Danwei, director of the respiratory disease department of Shanghai Yida Hospital, said not all patients with throat ache have COVID-19 and people should visit the hospital for diagnosis and proper treatment.

"The upper respiratory tract and throat work like a door for the body. No matter whether it is an infection of bacteria, COVID-19 or flu, people can suffer throat pain. The key is to identify what type of infection it is and receive appropriate treatment. People should also maintain good personal hygiene by hand-washing, keeping good indoor ventilation and wearing a mask in crowded places," Liu said.

She said there had also been a round of upper respiratory infections featuring acute pharyngitis recently due to frequent gatherings and strong workloads.

"In most patients with pharyngitis it is related to the common cold and a small amount are caused by COVID-19 and flu. Spring is the peak season for respiratory disease, because of huge traffic flow during the May Day holiday and the fatigue after the holiday and overtime work also influence immunity."

Doctors said people should not judge that they are infected with COVID-19 simply based on throat pain. COVID-19 infections usually also cause fever, coughing and soreness all over the body. If experiencing such symptoms, people can go to medical facilities for testing and to receive targeted treatment.

Special Reports