We know the symptoms of COVID-19, but in what order do they appear? Californian researchers are answering this question in the hope of enlightening the public, but also the medical community.
Typically, a person who catches the coronavirus will start with a fever. Then the cough and muscle pain will begin. Nausea and / or diarrhea will follow.
At least that’s what the analysis of more than 55,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) shows from data collected by the World Health Organization between the February 16 and 24 in China.
These results appeared in the scientific journal on Friday Frontiers in Public Health.
We know that the coronavirus causes a multitude of symptoms and that COVID-19 affects patients in a wide variety of ways. Some will get very sick, while others will not experience any symptoms.
The fact of establishing a characteristic trajectory of the disease could nevertheless be of great help if it encourages patients to go for testing and to isolate themselves, argue the authors of the study.
The order in which a person’s symptoms appear could also help doctors rule out other infections quickly and make a better, faster diagnosis, they hope.
“This order could be particularly important when cyclical illnesses like the flu overlap with COVID-19 infections,” argues Peter Kuhn, professor of medicine at USC.
California researchers have noticed that COVID-19 patients tend to experience symptoms in the upper digestive tract (causing nausea and vomiting) before having symptoms in the lower digestive tract (causing diarrhea). .
It was the opposite in previous outbreaks caused by other coronaviruses, namely Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), they write.
“Since there are now better approaches to treatments for COVID-19, identifying patients earlier could reduce hospitalization time,” said Joseph Larsen, lead author of the study.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. As the pandemic progressed through the spring, loss of taste and smell was identified as another common symptom, notably by a Quebec study led by Dr.r Alex Carignan.
Several patients have also reported severe fatigue associated with the disease. Headache, sore throat, and loss of appetite are other possible symptoms.