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Scientists discover COVID-19 symptoms appear in a specific order


Sep. 3, 2021 Medical News Today

The study findings reveal individuals infected with COVID-19 will likely experience symptoms in the following order:

  1. fever
  2. coughing and muscle pain
  3. nausea, vomiting, or both
  4. diarrhea

The research appears in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. Doctoral candidate Joseph Larsen and his colleagues conducted the study in collaboration with faculty advisers Peter Kuhn and James Hicks, at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience’s Convergent Science Institute in Cancer.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has had a catastrophic global impact.

According to current data from Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 23.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally and more than 820,000 recorded deaths.

Individuals infected with COVID-19 are highly infectious, demonstrating a rate two to three times more contagious than influenza. Also, as outbreaks of COVID-19 occur in clusters, early identification of the disease may reduce their number and size. However, experts are unable to define the initial symptoms accurately.

Improving treatment strategy for COVID-19

The researchers note that an improved understanding of how COVID-19 symptoms appear helps patients promptly seek care or decide to self-isolate.

This information may also help medical professionals identify patients with the disease, rule out other illnesses, and design appropriate treatments more quickly.

“Given that there are now better approaches to treatments for COVID-19, identifying patients earlier could reduce hospitalization time,” says Prof. Larsen, the study’s lead author, and a USC Dornsife professor.

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