Not every cough is COVID

For example, if a group of American adults is experiencing severe illness, cough and fever, the most likely diagnosis is COVID-19. In this scenario, an infectious disease database platform ranks COVID-19 “number 1,” with a statistical likelihood of 87%. However, the program also lists an additional 76 infectious diseases. (Influenza is the second most likely diagnosis, with a probability of 8%.)

Stephen A. Berger, MD, is co-founder and medical director of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network.