New research has found the most probable order in which COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.
The earliest sign of coronavirus is most likely a fever in infected patients followed by cough and muscle aches, according to research conducted by the University of Southern California published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health on Thursday. .
After that, people will experience nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
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The latest findings are a major breakthrough in coronavirus research because patients will now be able to identify and treat the disease more quickly.
“This order is especially important to know when we have overlapping disease cycles such as flu with COVID-19 infection,” said Peter Kuhn, professor of biological sciences and medicine who worked on the study, said in a statement. “Doctors can determine what steps to take to take care of a patient and they can prevent a patient’s condition from getting worse.”
Early diagnosis is key to stopping the virus before it becomes more severe.
Joseph Larsen, a PhD candidate and lead researcher, said: “Since there are now better approaches to COVID-19 treatment, earlier identification could reduce hospital admission. . “The order of symptoms is very important. Knowing that each disease progresses differently means doctors can determine earlier if someone is more likely to have COVID-19 or another, which could help them make better treatment decisions. “.
The early symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to other respiratory diseases like MERS and SARS, but the timing of gastrointestinal problems makes COVID-19 easier to detect.
Scientists wrote in this study: “The upper gastrointestinal tract (i.e., nausea / vomiting) appears to be pre-affected by the lower gastrointestinal tract (ie, diarrhea) in COVID-19, in contrast to MERS and SARS ”.
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Larsen, along with mentors Kuhn and James Hicks, undertook research at USC Michelson’s Institute of Converged Cancer Biology.
USC researchers analyzed data collected by the World Health Organization in China between February 16 and 24 from more than 55,000 confirmed coronavirus infections. Scientists also examined nearly 1,100 cases collected between December 11 and January 29 by the China Medical Experts Group through the China National Health Commission.
They then compared numbers with flu symptom data of 2,470 cases in North America, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere that were reported to health authorities between 1994 and 1998.