"Knowing that each illness progresses differently means that doctors can identify sooner whether someone likely has COVID-19, or another illness, which can help them make better treatment decisions", said Joseph Larsen, study lead author from USC, as reported by PTI. "Given that there are now better approaches to treatments for Covid-19, identifying patients earlier could reduce hospitalization time", says the expert.
The authors predicted the order of symptoms this spring from the rates of symptom incidence of more than 55,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China, all of which were collected from February 16-Feb.
Not only will the order of the symptoms help doctors diagnose Covid-19 at an earlier stage, but it will also give them a clearer understanding of which treatments to prioritise.
Everyone knows that COVID-19 spreads faster than influenza and also results in cluster outbreaks.
The researchers then compared the order of Covid-19 symptoms to those of influenza by examining data from 2 470 cases in North America, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere (reported to health authorities from 1994 to 1998). It also helps doctors to determine what extra care they need to provide to the patients.
Fever and cough are frequently tied to many respiratory diseases, including MERS and SARS, but the timing and symptoms in the upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract could set COVID-19 apart.
"We hope the results will show the treatment can confine Covid to the nose and throat and prevent lung infection, and stop infected patients from passing on the live virus".
One of the main fears of the health crisis is not knowing how to identify well the symptoms that COVID-19 causes or how it can be differentiated from a common cold, allergy, pharyngitis, flu ... Fever and cough are often associated with various types of respiratory diseases.
The scientific findings were published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. "However, the upper GI tract (nausea/vomiting) seems to be affected before the lower GI tract (diarrhoea) in COVID-19, which is the opposite from MERS and SARS", the scientists wrote in the study.
The findings highlight the importance of checking for body temperature, not only in arrival sites or entry to facilities. "Additionally, our findings suggest that good clinical practice should involve recording the order of symptom occurrence in COVID-19 and other diseases", the team said. According to several other studies, about half of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic, leading researchers to believe that there may have been thousands more infected people in Wuhan and Seattle before each city's respective lockdown measures went into effect. Also, contact tracing should be done to isolate the patients.