The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. Over 118,000 cases and 4,000 deaths have been reported so far. The WHO’s new analysis has revealed the most common symptoms ever since the outbreak in China in 2019.
Here is a gist of the most common symptoms, according to the report that analyzed over 55,900 confirmed cases:
- COVID-19 symptoms are non-specific and the disease presentation can range from asymptomatic to fatal ones such as severe pneumonia or death
- Typical signs and their prevalence: Fever: 87.9%, Dry Cough: 67.7%, Fatigue: 38.1%, Sputum production: 33.4%, Shortness of breath: 18.6%, Sore throat: 12.9%, Headache: 13.6%, Myalgia/Arthralgia: 14.8%, Chills: 11.4%, Nausea/Vomiting: 5%, Nasal Congestion: 4.8%, Diarrhea: 3.7%, Hemoptysis: 0.9%, and Conjunctival congestion: 0.8%.
- The symptoms generally develop about 5-6 days after infection and the mean incubation period ranges from 1-14 days
- About 80% of individuals who testes positive for COVID-19, exhibited mild symptoms and recovered
- 13.8% have severe symptoms including dyspnea, respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ failure
- While there were cases reported of asymptomatic infection, a majority of them went on to develop symptoms.
- Individuals at the highest risk of severe symptoms and fever: Older adults over 60, those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer
- COVID-19 in children appears to be relatively rare, with mild symptoms and only 2.4% of the total reported cases were under 19.
- The crude fatality ratio (CFR) varies by location as well as the intensity of transmission. In China, the CFR which was higher in the early stages of the outbreak has reduced over time
- Mortality rates increases with age and the highest mortality rates are seen among older adults over 80 and higher among men compared to women.
“We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time,” CNN Health quoted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do,” he added.