Which coronavirus symptoms come first? Study thinks it has the answer

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 15, 2020

The research team found that those treated early in their illness with donated plasma that has the highest concentration of anti-COVID-19 antibodies are more likely to survive and recover than similar patients who were not treated with convalescent plasma.

"This order is especially important to know when we have overlapping cycles of illnesses like the flu that coincide with infections of COVID-19", said Kuhn, a USC professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Kuhn noted that this study may help doctors contain the virus before its effects get worsen in the patients. The study tracked severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to Houston Methodist's system of eight hospitals from March 28 through July 6.

"The order of the symptoms matter, " Larsen said.

To determine COVID symptom chronology, the authors analyzed more than 55,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China collected from February 16 to February 24 by the World Health Organization. The scientists also took a look at almost 1,100 cases gathered from December 11 to January 29 by the China Medical Treatment Expert Group via the National Health Commission of China.

This will also help in the reduction of number of hospitalized cases due to Covid-19. 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 While fever and cough are frequently associated with a variety of respiratory illnesses, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which caused the 2002-03 pandemic, they said the timing and symptoms in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract set COVID-19 apart.

"Our results assert that fever is the most likely symptom to occur first in symptomatic adult patients with COVID-19".

"The importance of knowing first symptoms is rooted in the need to stop the spread of COVID-19, a disease that is two to three times more transmissible than influenza and results in outbreaks of clusters", the authors of the study wrote. "However, the upper GI tract (nausea/vomiting) seems to be affected before the lower GI tract (diarrhea) in COVID-19, which is the opposite from MERS and SARS", the scientists wrote in the study.

In an ongoing study of more than 300 COVID-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma therapy in the USA, researchers suggest that the treatment is safe and effective.

"The highest reported symptom is fever, followed by cough or dyspnea, and then finally, a small per cent of patients reported diarrhoea".

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