Symptom progression of COVID-19

A new study have examined symptom frequency and clinical progression for a selection of cases from clinical studies in mainland China and individual case reports in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Authors noted that the number of cases presenting with pneumoniais different in mainland China compared to the case studies from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. This may be due to surveillance outside mainland China detecting milder cases than in mainland China, where pneumonia was a key clinical criterion in the case definition.

However, there are several caveats to this work. Firstly, the international case studies do not include all cases outside mainland China but a subset in both time and space. As detailed symptom progression data for other countries and more recent cases becomes available, this will be reviewed, and the analysis updated where possible. Secondly, they utilised clinical studies available for cases within mainland China, some of which have not yet been peer-reviewed. Pre-prints optimise the sharing of valuable data and information in outbreak settings; however, the analyses within this report may need to be reviewed as the pre-prints are revised.

Authors analysed symptom prevalence and clinical progression in cases of COVID-19 within mainland China and internationally in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Generally, the age structure and symptom prevalence showed geographic variation, potentially caused by differences in surveillance sensitivity, healthcare-seeking behaviour, population age distributions and the likely characteristics of travellers (i.e. younger and with fewer comorbidities).

In this way, although progression varies between cases, the most common presentations were fever and cough followed by fatigue and then, in some cases, pneumonia.

Link to the paper:

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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