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The First Sure Signal You Have Coronavirus

"Fever is number one, followed by cough, followed by aches and pains.”
woman lying on sofa having fever

The CDC lists numerous symptoms of coronavirus. Now a new study claims to know which order they appear when you're sick with COVID-19. In a research paper published in Frontiers in Public Health, researchers at the University of Southern California say their discovery can help patients and doctors alike determine the sage next steps, including a possible coronavirus test and quarantining yourself. Read on, and make sure you're safe, don't miss this essential list of the Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

A Fever is the First Signal You May Have Coronavirus

According to the scientists, the most likely order of symptoms is as follows: 

  • fever
  • cough and muscle pain
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Important to note: A fever does not always accompany coronavirus. You can have coronavirus without having any of the symptoms above. But these symptoms are common, and commonly present themselves in this order, say the researchers. "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 study co-author Peter Kuhn, professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "Doctors can determine what steps to take to care for the patient, and they may prevent the patient's condition from worsening."

"Given that there are now better approaches to treatments for COVID-19, identifying patients earlier could reduce hospitalization time," said doctoral candidate Joseph Larsen, the study's lead author and a USC Dornsife professor.

The order is distinct to coronavirus. "The upper GI tract (i.e., nausea/vomiting) seems to be affected before the lower GI tract (i.e., diarrhea) in COVID-19, which is the opposite from MERS and SARS," the scientists wrote.

The Virus Has a "Broad Range" of Symptoms

The coronavirus has been a particularly tricky one to trace, as patients are describing symptoms that range from fever to a rash called "COVID toes"—and certain "long haulers" experience terrible symptoms like "brain fog" or chronic fatigue for endless months.

"I've never seen an infection with this broad range of manifestations," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month. "This is a good guide of sorts," Dr. Bob Lahita, a professor of medicine who is not affiliated with the study, told CBSN anchor Anne-Marie Green. "We can say safely, studying as they did, I think it was 55,000 patients from China, they looked at the data and looked at the symptoms and found that this order was pretty reproducible….Fever is number one, followed by cough, followed by aches and pains — and they do not all have to appear in sequence, they can appear together," Lahita said. 

How You Can Stay Safe From COVID-19

If you have a fever, it could be something else or it could be COVID-19. Call your medical professional immediately. And wear your face mask, social distance, avoid crowds, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus

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