Researchers at the University of Southern California in the United States have established the order of symptoms onset in Covid-19. A way to distinguish the virus from the flu, MERS or SARS-1.
Fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, respiratory discomfort, nausea, rashes… The Covid-19 has many manifestations. It is not easy to detect the disease as its symptoms are common to other pathologies. However, researchers at the University of Southern California in the United States have tried to determine the order in which symptoms of southern coronavirus to «help patients and health professionals diagnose and distinguish Covid-19 from other respiratory diseases as quickly as possible.»
Scientists reviewed data gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO) between 16 and 24 February 2020 in China. More than 55,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus were studied. This allowed them to compare the evolution of Covid-19 symptoms with those of influenza,Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-1).
Fever before coughing in Covid-19
The study published in the journal Frontiers Public Health
found that people with Covid-19 would initially have a fever. Then they would experience coughing, muscle pain, nausea and possibly diarrhea. Note that in the case of flu, coughing appears before fever.
Covid-19 differs from SARS and MERS in the order of onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. «The upper gastrointestinal tract (i.e. nausea/vomiting) appears to be affected before the lower gastrointestinal tract (i.e. diarrhoea) in Covid-19, which is the opposite of MERS and SARS,» the scientists discovered.
For researchers, this data is valuable. «This order can be particularly important when cyclic diseases like influenza overlap with Covid-19 infections,» said Peter Kuhn, a professor of medicine at USC. «Given that there are now better approaches to Covid-19 treatment, early identification of patients could reduce hospitalization time,» the study authors said.
However, this information should be taken with some caution,as many people turn out to be asymptomatic or develop atypical forms of the disease.