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This is the order of COVID-19 symptoms, should you have it

It has been established in what order the symptoms of COVID-19 appear: fever, cough, and muscle aches first, followed by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Experts say the order of complaints distinguishes COVID-19 from related infections, and this knowledge will facilitate faster diagnosis.

The main author of the study, Prof. Joseph Larson of the University of Southern California points out in Frontiers in Public Health that early diagnosis of COVID-19 may be critical to the effectiveness of treating the disease and preventing its complications.

It is also about distinguishing it from other infections, especially such as influenza, in the coming fall / winter season. Many diseases of the respiratory system are manifested by fever and cough.

From the analysis of 55,000 people. Research-confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection show that fever, cough, and muscle aches usually occur first – followed by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

This is also indicated by the data of 1,100 patients, collected from December 11, 2019 to January 29, 2020 by a group of Chinese specialists.

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They were compared with a group of almost 2.5 thousand influenza patients in North America, Europe and southern hemisphere countries.

It has been noted that the order of symptoms differentiates COVID-19 even from related infections such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).

With COVID-19, nausea and vomiting occur first, and then diarrhoea. When it comes to SARS and MERS, the opposite is true.

The difference between COVID-19 disease and influenza is primarily shortness of breath. However, this symptom occurs at a later stage in the development of the disease.

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At first, symptoms may be similar, including fever, cough and muscle aches. The order in which they appear can help doctors in the early diagnosis of coronavirus infection.

“This sequence is especially important when disease cycles such as influenza overlap with COVID-19,” Prof. Peter Kuhn from the University of Southern California.

Early diagnosis of the infection can allow for prompt initiation of therapy, avoiding the development of COVID-19 and its complications. As a result, hospitalization may also be lower. “Doctors can decide how to treat a patient so that his condition does not worsen” – adds prof. Kuhn.

Prof. Larsen said doctors are better able to treat COVID-19 after months of dealing with the pandemic. (PAP)