Study confirms the key symptoms to look out for in cases of COVID-19

A new large-scale review has confirmed some of the key symptoms associated with COVID-19, including persistent cough, fever, and loss of smell.
The new study, conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds, UK, along with four other universities, is one of the largest to date to study symptoms of COVID-19. It contains data from 148 different studies.
In total, researchers had access to data on 24,410 adult COVID-19 cases in nine countries, including the United Kingdom, China, and the United States, which they used to identify the most common symptoms of the virus.
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The results published in the online journal PLoS ONE showed that the most common symptom of the virus was fever, which was found in 78 percent of COVID-19 cases. However, the researchers also found that the frequency of this symptom varied from country to country. 72 percent of patients in Singapore reported fever compared to only 32 percent of patients in Korea. The second most common symptom was a cough, which was found in 57 percent of patients. Again, the number of patients reporting this symptom varied from 76 percent in the Netherlands to 18 percent in Korea in each country. The researchers say these deviations could be due to the way data was collected.
Other common symptoms were fatigue (31 percent of cases), loss of smell (25 percent), and difficulty breathing (23 percent).
The researchers also found that of the patients who needed hospital treatment, 19 percent were in intensive care, 17 percent needed non-invasive breathing equipment, nine percent needed invasive ventilation, and two percent needed artificial lungs. The mortality rate was seven percent.
They say the results confirm the list of symptoms given by the World Health Organization at the start of the pandemic. However, they add that it is likely that a large proportion of the people who had the virus showed no symptoms.
Ryckie Wade, surgeon and clinical research fellow at the Leeds Institute of Medical Research, who oversaw the research, commented the results as follows: "This analysis confirms that cough and fever were the most common symptoms in people who tested positive for COVID-19. ""
"This is important because it ensures that symptomatic people can be quarantined so they don't infect others.
"The study gives confidence in the fact that we have rightly identified the main symptoms and can help determine who should be tested."

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