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Fecal-oral transmission may be part of the COVID-19 clinical picture, according to two reports published in Gastroenterology. The researchers find that RNA and proteins from SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19, are shed in feces early in infection and persist after respiratory symptoms abate.
But the discovery is preliminary. “There is evidence of the virus in stool, but not evidence of infectious virus,” David A. Johnson, MD, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine in Norfolk, told Medscape Medical News.
It also points to a possible early symptom that gets missed that is mild to moderate GI upset symptoms in patients like diarrhea and vomiting that occurs before the cough and fever
Nearly half of cases experience digestive system problems as well as respiratory, say experts from Binzhou University
Chinese experts warned about the newly discovered symptoms of COVID-19, including diarrhea, loss of appetite and nausea. In three hospitals, 204 infected cases have been tested and results have been published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Experts said 48,5% of the cases suffer from digestive system problems as well as respiratory problems. In some cases with only diarrhea, no traces of high fever or coughing are observed. In cases with digestive system problems, the process from the first symptom to being hospitalized is 1.5 days longer -- 9 in total -- than cases with no digestive system problems. The study also said cases with only respiratory problems recover faster than those with both. The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 163 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic. Out of more than 246,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 10,000, and over 86,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover. * Writing by Firdevs Bulut