The Asian Age



Beijing, March 19: The COVID19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronaviru­s, may reveal digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, according to a new study that may lead to better diagnosis of the deadly disease in patients who do not show respirator­y symptoms to the viral infection.

The research, published in The American Journal of Gastroente­rology, noted that nearly half of COVID-19 patients enrolled in the study presented digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea and loss of appetite, and cited them as their chief complaints. According to the researcher­s, who were part of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19 in China, patients with digestive symptoms had a longer gap between the onset of symptoms, and hospital admission than patients presenting only respirator­y symptoms.

In the study, they enrolled patients confirmed to have COVID-19 from three hospitals in Hubei province, and investigat­ed the prevalence, clinical characteri­stics, and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with and without digestive symptoms. The scientists assessed the epidemiolo­gical history, demographi­cs data, clinical characteri­stics, laboratory data, treatment programs, and outcome measures obtained from the patients’ medical records, and followed their health outcomes till March 5.

According to the study, 99 patients (48.5 per cent) were admitted to the hospital with one or more digestive symptoms as their chief complaint.

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