Covid-19 crisis: What is Happy Hypoxia and can it be fatal?

Chennai: Symptoms like sore throat, cough and loss of taste and smell were common in the first wave of Covid-19.

Apart from those symptoms, many new symptoms are observed in individuals affected during the second wave, according to Dr Monalisa Sahu, consultant, infectious diseases at Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.

“These new symptoms include rashes, bluish discoloration of the fingers and toes, bleeding from the nose, confusion state and brain fog.”

“We are also seeing a lot more drastic drop in oxygen levels, including happy hypoxia that may cause death if external oxygen supply is not immediately available,” she was quoted as saying by The Week.

Happy hypoxia is a condition where blood oxygen levels are low but the patient continues with their daily activities without being aware of it.

According to medical experts, non-regular monitoring of oxygen saturation levels could result in organs shutting down and the condition can become life-threatening. Youngsters may not realise the steep drop in oxygen levels in the blood because of their high immunity and general health.

Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, and a severe case can reduce the lungs’ capacity to absorb oxygen. In these cases, the oxygen levels in blood can decline to as little as 40 percent and the patient would need immediate oxygen support and, in critical cases, ventilators as well.


NT Bureau