Coronavirus: the order in which identified symptoms appear, useful for distinguishing Covid from influenza?


The symptoms of flu and Covid-19 are very similar. But an American study found that the first signs differed from one pathology to another. Helpful in times of seasonal flu?

The order of the symptoms would be important. In any case, this is what an American study published in Sciencedaily says.

Indeed, researchers at the University of Southern California believe they have found the likely order in which Covid symptoms first appear.

Defined order

By researching and analyzing data from 55,924 confirmed Covid-19 cases in China, all collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) between February 16-24, as well as 1,100 cases collected between December 11, 2019 and January 29, collected by the China Group of Experts on Medical Treatment, through the Chinese National Health Commission, concluded that the first was fever, then cough, muscle aches, then nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Knowing the sequence of symptoms has several aspects: maybe help patients to do heal faster, help doctors exclude other diseases and even planning the treatment of patients and perhaps intervene earlier in the disease.

“This order is especially important to know, especially during periods of seasonal illnesses such as the flu that coincide with coronavirus infections,” explains Professor of Medicine Peter Kuhn, who attended the publication.

“And it might even reduce hospitalization times given faster identification,” said Joseph Larsen, lead author of the study.

Covid fever, flu cough

To compare the sequence of coronavirus symptoms with flu symptoms, researchers looked at data from 2,470 cases of influenza in North America, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere that were reported to medical authorities in 1994. until 1998.

According to his researchers, an order for coronavirus is fever then cough followed by muscle pain, nausea and / or vomiting followed by diarrhea.

For flu it’s all about cough followed by fever.

Also read: Covid-19, flu or common cold, how to tell them apart? List of symptoms

Does pathology disappear gradually or appear suddenly?

The Institut Pasteur stresses that the onset of symptoms is gradual over a period of several days with the coronavirus, unlike the flu which starts suddenly. “

Barrier gestures to avoid everything

Remember that barrier gestures are always useful, much less in flu. They will avoid catching or transmitting seasonal pathologies and protect against the coronavirus.

Doctors also encourage people to get flu vaccinations to make diagnosis easier.

The French government also listed the symptoms of Covid, stating that it was mainly fever or fever (chills, hot-cold), cough, headache, body aches and unusual fatigue.

But also sudden loss of smell (without nasal obstruction), complete loss of taste or even diarrhea. Or in more severe forms: difficulty breathing that can lead to hospitalization in an intensive care unit or even death.

Kovid, flu, cold: a list of symptoms compiled by the UK Healthcare

The list of symptoms that distinguish Covid, the flu and the common cold was compiled a few months ago by the UK’s National Health Service.

In the case of Covid-19

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus or Covid-19 are

– fever (from 37.8 ° C).

– A persistent cough (usually dry).

– Loss of taste and / or smell.

Patients may sometimes experience fatigue, body aches, sore throats, headaches and shortness of breath.

Diarrhea and a runny or stuffy nose are rare.

For flu

The most common symptoms of flu are:

– fever (from 37.8 ° C).

– Dry cough.

– You are very tired.

– Pains.

– headaches.

Sometimes people have a runny or blocked nose or a sore throat.

Diarrhea may occasionally occur in children.

With the flu, there is no sneezing or shortness of breath.

For a cold

The most common symptoms of a cold are:

– Sneezing.

– Runny or stuffy nose.

– Sore throat.

– Pains.

You may feel a mild cough. Occasionally fatigue occurs, and fever or headache rarely occurs. Colds don’t cause diarrhea.


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