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What is the difference between a symptom and a sign?
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
A symptom is any subjective evidence of disease, while a sign is any objective evidence of disease. Therefore, a symptom is a phenomenon that is experienced by the individual affected by the disease, while a sign is a phenomenon that can be detected by someone other than the individual affected by the disease. For examples, anxiety, pain, and fatigue are all symptoms. In contrast, a bloody nose is a sign of injured blood vessels in the nose that can be detected by a doctor, a nurse, or another observer.
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