The most common coronavirus symptom
By now most people are probably aware of some of the symptoms of COVID-19, such as a dry cough and shortness of breath, but there is one indicator of the virus that the vast majority of patients will experience.
Research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) based on almost 56,000 coronavirus patients in China showed that 88 per cent of people studied had a fever.
This makes it by far the most common symptom, with the next being a dry cough at 68 per cent.
Fatigue comes in next at 38 per cent then sputum production (phlegm) at 33 per cent.
Other symptoms include shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, nausea or vomiting, nasal congestion and diarrhoea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually, according to WHO.
"Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80 per cent) recover from the disease without needing special treatment," WHO said.
"Around one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
"Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention."
New research has also found that young people infected with coronavirus often go untreated because they don't experience the main symptoms of the virus.
However, an increasing number of young patients classified as asymptomatic share a common affliction - a loss of their sense of smell and taste, a condition known as anosmia or hyposmia (partial loss).
Professor Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK - the umbrella body representing ear, nose and throat specialists - says anyone who develops anosmia should immediately self-isolate, even if they have no other signs of the disease.
"In young patients, they do not have any significant symptoms such as the cough and fever, but they may have just the loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are lodging in the nose," Prof Kumar told Sky News.
A study of international cases by the British Rhinological Society Profession and the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology found a significant proportion of coronavirus patients reported losing their sense of smell, taste or both.
Flinders University professor and ENT specialist, Simon Carney, said these patients could be contributing to the rapid spread of the virus as they are unaware they even have the illness.
"It is these silent carriers who may remain undetected by current screening procedures, which may explain why the disease has progressed so rapidly in so many countries around the world," Prof Carney said.
"While further research is required, loss of smell, or anosmia, has been reported in as many as one in three patients in South Korea and in Germany, this figure was as high as one in two."
Prof Carney said Australia was in a position to take advantage of these findings overseas to try and lower the rate of infection.
He said doctors and COVID-19 detection centres could use the subtle sign as part of their testing criteria and patients should also consider calling their GP if they notice this symptom.