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Disease progression

The following is a breakdown of how symptoms progress based on both separate Wuhan hospital studies and other sources.

Day 1: Patients experience a fever and may also experience fatigue, muscle pain and a dry cough.

A small minority may have had diarrhea or nausea one to two days before, Business Insider reports.

Dr Clare Gerada, 60, a GP in London, and former chair of the Royal College of GPs, said that she started feeling symptoms as a slight dry cough and tiredness. 

‘Yet it was so mild to begin with, I barely gave it a second thought.’ 

Day 5: Patients have difficulty breathing – known as dyspnea – if they are older or have a pre-existing health condition.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that symptoms that occur two to 14 days after exposure are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

In the second Wuhan study, of 138 patients, about 10 per cent experienced diarrhea and nausea a couple of days prior to development of fever and dyspnea. 

Day 7: At this point patients showing signs of dyspnea tend to be admitted to hospital.

CDC advises that anyone with emergency warning signs for COVID-19 – persistent chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath and bluish lips or face – should get medical attention.

Day 7 is also the point at which for the vast majority of patients – about 85 per cent – that symptoms start to diminish and coming out of isolation is a possibility, the second study claims. 

Government says that if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. 

The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.  

Day 8: Patients with severe cases develop signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) at this point, where the lungs can’t provide the body’s vital organs with enough oxygen. 

15 per cent of cases reach this point, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Day 10: Patients with worsening breathing problems tend to be entered into an intensive care unit at day 10. 

The second Wuhan study also said it observed that the average hospital stay was 10 days. 

Day 12:  Fever tends to end at around this point, according to the first Wuhan study.

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