What Is New in the Coronavirus Pandemic?
A recent study conducted in Hubei, China shows that almost half of the 204 COVID-19 cases that researchers analyzed started experiencing gastrointestinal issues before respiratory symptoms developed. Researchers found that people who had digestive issues ( i.e. diarrhea, abdominal cramps/discomfort, vomiting, and loss of appetite) would wait roughly nine days before going to the hospital. People whose symptoms were respiratory would go to the hospital within a week of contracting COVID-19.
What Did the Research Show?
The small study showed that seven of the patient’s data that was analyzed only showed digestive symptoms. As the disease progresses, the symptoms of the disease also increase. Scientists found that “COVID-19 patients with digestive symptoms have a worse clinical outcome and a higher risk of death compared to those without digestive symptoms,” Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a journal co-editor-in-chief stated.
Spiegel emphasizes the importance of adding digestive symptoms to the list for early signs of COVID-19. Adding this fact could help lead to an earlier diagnosis of COVID-19, which would, in turn, lead to patients receiving treatment earlier. This would speed up the quarantine process and minimize the transmission from person-to-person.
Some believe that the reason patients with digestive symptoms wait to be tested is due to the fact that they are not showing the well-known symptoms of coughing or shortness of breath. Professionals would like the public to know that digestive symptoms can also be a sign of the COVID-19 virus.
What Are the Symptoms?
While the respiratory symptoms are more closely monitored, earlier symptoms such as diarrhea should be watched as well. Some of the other symptoms of COVID-19 is:
- Nasal congestion;
- Aches pains (pain throughout the body, joints, and muscles);
- Sore throat;
- Dry cough;
- Shortness of breath.
If a person develops any of the aforementioned symptoms contact a medical provider or head to a local testing site.
By Sheena Robertson
Forbes: Stomach Ache And Diarrhea May Be Among The First Signs Of COVID-19 Coronavirus
Web MD: About Half of COVID-19 Cases Show Digestive Signs
CBS: Almost half of coronavirus patients have digestive symptoms, study finds
Image Courtesy of Laura LaRose’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License