Scientists: These 2 symptoms are the most prevalent in COVID-19

The most prevalent symptoms associated with COVID-19 are a persistent cough and fever, according to a major breakthrough study.

Researchers from the University of Leeds determined that the two symptoms – which were labeled the most common signs of the coronavirus by the World Health Organization at the start of the pandemic – as the telltale signs of the virus, along with other symptoms including fatigue, loss of ability to smell, and difficulty breathing.

The study, published in the online journal PLoS ONE, is one of the biggest studies to date on COVID-19 symptoms, where researchers compared data from 148 separate studies dealing with 24,000 patients from nine countries, including the UK, China, and the United States.

“This analysis confirms that cough and fever were the most common symptoms in people who tested positive with COVID-19,” said Ryckie Wade, a surgeon and Clinical Research Fellow at the Leeds Institute of Medical Research, in a press release.

“This is important because it ensures that people who are symptomatic can be quarantined, so they are not infecting others. The study gives confidence to the fact that we have been right in identifying the main symptoms and it can help determine who should get tested.”

When analyzing the 24,410 positive cases of COVID-19, researchers found that 78% of cases had a fever and 57% reported having a cough. While data ranged depending on location, the two symptoms trumped others including fatigue (31%), lost ability to smell (25%), and difficulty breathing (23%).

There have been other reported symptoms of COVID-19 including itchiness, “COVID toes,” and even pink eye.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its symptom list, according to Fox News, adding three symptoms: congestion or runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea to the list.