GI symptoms common in COVID patients

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GI symptoms common in COVID patients

Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are classic symptoms of COVID-19. However, new studies indicate that – in addition to upper respiratory symptoms – gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in coronavirus patients.

Researchers at Stanford University found that one-third of its 116 coronavirus patients studied had symptoms such as appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. According to the research, a significant portion of patients exposed to coronavirus may not be identified due to current testing strategies which focus on respiratory symptoms alone.

The Mayo Clinic identifies other studies in which a third of COVID-19 patients had digestive symptoms alone with no respiratory symptoms. COVID-19 was present in their stool, but not in their respiratory tract. But whether SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be transmitted through stool, is not yet known. Additionally, it is not known whether an existing digestive issue can put some people at increased risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19.

When it comes to hospitalizations, half of all COVID-19 patients have digestive symptoms, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, which sampled 206 patients. Researchers in Wuhan, China, add that diarrhea with COVID-19 lasts about five days on average.

It is important that patients who have COVID-19 and digestive issues stay hydrated, according to Loyola University Medical Center. If such a person lives in your home, take the following actions to minimize viral spread:

  • Isolate from others in the home, including pets
  • Wear a mask
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Routinely clean the bathroom and other high-touch surfaces (such as doorknobs) with bleach
  • Close the lid before flushing the toilet
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible