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The Order in Which COVID-19 Symptoms Show Up

'Is everything COVID-19 now or does normal flu still exists?' This joke has been going around social media for a while now. It is genuinely frustrating how every symptom gets us choked up and wondering if we are infected. Luckily, medical experts have been able to determine the chronological order in which the symptoms of this disease shows up on most people. Keep in mind that this order is common yet not the only possibility. Some patients have different symptoms altogether while some don't have any symptoms at all. It is recommended to take this as a guideline and get yourself tested if anything feels uncomfortably different in your health.​

Read on to find the common order of symptoms during Coronavirus infection!

Scientific Data


Research conducted by medical experts from the University of Southern California (USC) used data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) for over 55,000 positive cases in China. They also took into account the data of almost 1,100 cases of December to January collected by the China Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19.​

They analyzed the data of over 2000 coronavirus cases reported in the Southern hemisphere, Europe, and North America between 1994 and 1997 to compare the symptom sprouting in influenza and the novel SARS-CoV 2 infection.

This result of this research has made it much easier for doctors and victims alike in judging whether the symptoms are of regular flu or coronavirus.

Let's take a look at what they found.

COVID-19 Symptoms Chronological Order


The order in which patients experience symptoms in this disease is:

  • ​Fever
  • Cough/muscle pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  •  
    In cases of a common cold or viral flu, people start coughing before developing a fever. Generally, the onset of such flues sees a triad of body pain, chills, and dry coughs. On the contrary, coronavirus patients develop a fever before the rest of the symptoms show up.
     
    While nausea and diarrhea are intermittent and common in both cases, they cannot be much of a determining factor.

    While fever and cough remain the most commonly reported initial symptoms, some patients do not have any sign of respiratory ailment but may experience abnormal changes in other parts of the body. Patients across the world have also experienced these symptoms:​

  • Loss of taste and smell while otherwise feeling fine
  • Chilblains: a reddish-blue discoloration of the toe skin, without any other symptom
  • Headache, malaise, and dizziness

  • Importance of Acknowledging Symptoms


    The researchers have stated that it is vital to understand and acknowledge the symptoms to reduce the risk of further contaminating others. The patient should self-assess their health and isolate themselves even before seeking medical help. They can even file a claim with their health insurance provider if they start noticing symptoms.

    This research has highlighted the importance of taking all precautions since there may be asymptomatic patients around you. To add an extra layer of protection for yourself, you can now buy health insurance online and claim it when the need arises. All said and done, the key to safety is self-awareness and prevention.