Researchers at the University of Southern California found that COVID-19 symptoms often manifest themselves in a specific order in patients. According to a scientific article entitled “Modeling the Occurrence of COVID-19 Symptoms,” published in the Public Health Limits Journal, the team tried to figure out the most common order in which symptoms appeared. The aim was to enable health professionals to more quickly differentiate cases of COVID-19 from other conditions with similar symptoms, such as flu and allergies.
What is the order of COVID-1
Using data from the World Health Organization on more than 55,000 patients in China, the research team found that fever is the most common first symptom of the virus. This is followed by a cough, then pain in the throat, muscles and head, then nausea and / or vomiting. Diarrhea is the last symptom to appear.
“Our model predicts influenza starts with coughing, while COVID-19, like other coronavirus-related diseases, starts with fever,” the study said. “However, COVID-19 differs from SARS and MERS in the order of gastrointestinal symptoms. Our results support the view that fever should be used to check facility entry when regions reopen after the spring 2020 outbreak . “
This does not apply to everyone
While these results can be helpful in helping frontline health workers differentiate new cases of coronavirus from the common cold, other experts have suggested that this sequence of symptoms won’t be the same for every patient. Another potential bug reported by critics of the study is the issue of recall bias. Patients who have difficulty remembering exactly which of their symptoms came first.
“It won’t be universal,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. “First of all, we know that some people don’t have a fever.”
This study may provide some insight into the way COVID-19 symptoms show up in patients, but the consensus in the scientific community seems to be based on the idea that equal attention should be paid other Symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, and fatigue.
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