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The symptoms of COVID-19 are known to vary widely.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 11 symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.
And a recent report suggests that those come in a distinct order,... which can be helpful in detecting patients faster and more efficently.
Choi Jeong-yoon explains.
The length and severity of COVID-19 can vary dramatically, with some people showing no symptoms at all, and others suddenly getting very ill.
"I couldn't taste or smell anything. I was eating but it just felt like chewing an eraser. And I suffered from a terrible headache, as if my body and mind had been separated."
Such a wide spectrum of symptoms has been making it difficult for health authorities to characterize the virus... leading to increase in infections with unclear transmission routes, as asymptomatic patients spread the virus unknowingly.
But a recent study has identified a distinct order of symptoms among nearly 55-thousand COVID-19 patients.
Most symptomatic patients started out with a fever, followed by a cough.
After that, they experienced a sore throat or muscle aches, which transformed into nausea or vomiting, then, finally, diarrhea.
COVID-19 also differs from general influenza, where coughs come before a fever.
With MERS and SARS, patients started off with a fever, but tended to develop diarrhea before vomiting.
Defining a typical progression of COVID-19 symptoms could help officials prevent the spread of the virus.
"Knowing that each illness progresses differently means that doctors can identify sooner whether someone has COVID-19, or another illness. This can help them make better treatment decisions."
Since COVID-19 patients are understood to be most infectious at the start of their illness, a fever, the first symptom could be effectively used for active screening.
However, as symptoms vary by the condition of the immune systems of each patient, thorough testing and monitoring is vital.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.
#COVID19 #symtom #distinct
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