In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical symptoms is limited.
A new study sought to determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of this novel coronavirus.
The study identified a pattern of symptoms in 140 hospitalized patients in Wuhan, China. The most common symptom is fever. Scientists observed fever in 99 percent of the patients in their study.
More than half of the patients were observed with other common symptoms such as fatigue, a dry cough, muscle pain and difficulty breathing. Although, it took almost a week for a patient to have difficulty breathing after first showing symptoms.
Symptoms such as headaches or sore throat were observed in only a small number of cases.
As of January 31, 2020, almost 10,000 cases in china has been confirmed. Full-genome sequencing and phylogenic analysis indicated that 2019-nCoV is a distinct clade from the beta coronaviruses associated with human severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Learning more about the virus’ symptoms could help physicians identify severe cases before a person becomes critically ill. It could also help scientists better understand how the virus spreads.
The study also suggests that the virus is more likely to affect older men with preexisting health problems. 10.1% percent of patients found to have diarrhea and nausea 1 to 2 days prior to the development of fever and dyspnea.
The new study is the largest case series to date of hospitalized patients with the corona virus. It is published in the journal JAMA Network.