Press release A study from The American Journal of Gastroenterology indicates that patients with new-onset digestive symptoms after a possible Covid-19 contact should be suspected for the illness, even in the absence of cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fever.
The authors report that among some of the patients included in the study, these digestive symptoms, particularly diarrhea, were the presentation of Covid-19, and were only later, or never, present with respiratory symptoms or fever.
According to Brennan M.R. Spiegel, MD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Gastroenterology, “This study is vital because it represents the 80% or more of patients who do not have severe or critical disease. This is about the more common scenario of people in the community struggling to figure out if they might have Covid-19 because of new-onset diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.”
- There is a unique subgroup of Covid-19 patients with low severity disease marked by presence of digestive symptoms.
- These patients are more likely to test positive in stool for Covid-19 RNA, to have a longer delay before viral clearance, and to experience delayed diagnosis compared to patients with respiratory symptoms but no digestive symptoms.
- In some cases, the digestive symptoms, particularly diarrhea, can be the initial presentation of Covid-19, and may only later or never present with respiratory symptoms or fever.
- Importantly, only two-thirds of people in this study had a fever, meaning it is not even necessary to have a fever to suspect the diagnosis.
- These data emphasize that patients with new-onset digestive symptoms after a possible Covid-19 contact must be suspected for the illness, even in the absence of cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fever.
Read the Study-
Han, et al., Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Mild Severity Covid-19, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, Am J Gastroenterol Pre-Print March 30,3030 Read here
The American Journal of Gastroenterology is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.