Gastrointestinal symptoms and potential fecal transmission in coronavirus patients
Gastrointestinal symptoms and potential fecal transmission in coronavirus patients. Credit: © aliced - Depositphotos.
The world is bracing for the impact of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which has now spread to over 30 countries, infecting more than 80,000 people with over 2,600 deaths globally. A better understanding of how this virus is transmitted is key to preventing its spread.
- A significant portion of coronavirus patients have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal discomfort before respiratory symptoms.
- Researchers recommend monitoring patients with initial GI distress, which will allow for earlier detection, diagnosis, isolation and intervention.
- Viral RNA is detectable in stool of patients with suspected coronavirus; it is now clear that the virus sheds into the stool.
- Viral gastrointestinal infection and potential fecal-oral transmission can last even after viral clearance in the respiratory tract.
- Prevention of fecal-oral transmission should be taken into consideration to control the spread the virus.
Materials provided by the American Gastroenterological Association. Content may be edited for clarity, style, and length.