4 Symptoms You'll Experience First If Infected With COVID-19, Study Says


The University of Southern California (USC) has published a study that reveals which coronavirus symptoms an infected person will experience first. The study, published on August 13, 2020 in the Frontiers of Public Health Journal, examined early-onset symptons of COVID-19, SARS, and MERS because they have similar symptoms.

Researchers were able to discern a pattern specific to COVID-19, that includes the appearance of symptoms in this order:

  1. fever
  2. cough and muscle pain
  3. nausea or vomiting and diarrhea

Early in the pandemic, gastrointestinal symptoms were not thought to be related to the coronavirus. But this new study indicates that these symptoms are indeed likely to be one of the symptoms individuals will experience at the onset of the infection.

Initial coronavirus symptoms mirror respiratory illnesses like MERS and SARS, but COVID-19 takes a different path where gastrointestinal symptoms are concerned. One scientist explained to the NY Post, that upper GI tract issues like nausea and vomiting manifest before lower GI tract issue like diarrhea, which is the opposite of MERS and SARS. Read the complete USC study in the Frontiers of Public Health Journal.

Related: In late June, the CDC announced three new symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The CDC warns that COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

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