MEXICO.- Scientists determined a possible order in which Covid-19 symptoms appear, which could help people seek early medical attention if they suspect they have contracted the disease.
The University of Southern California (USC) study found that generally the first symptom of an infected person is fever, followed by coughing and muscle pain, then nausea or vomiting, and then diarrhea.
The researchers noted that knowing the order of symptoms can help patients to isolate themselves and go to the hospital immediately, and doctors could rule out other diseases or plan how to treat an infected person.
“Since there are now better approaches to treatments for the virus, identifying patients earlier could reduce hospitalization time,” Joseph Larsen, lead author of the study and a professor at USC, said in a statement.
The study highlights that although fever and cough are frequently associated with many respiratory illnesses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), symptoms in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract distinguish new coronavirus patients.
“The upper gastrointestinal tract (nausea and vomiting) appears to be affected earlier than the lower gastrointestinal tract (diarrhea) in COVID-19, which is the opposite of MERS and SARS,” the scientists wrote.
The investigation was based on the symptoms of more than 55,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in China, collected from February 16 to 24 by the World Health Organization (WHO).