1 in 6 COVID Patients Only Have Gastro Symptoms

By Cara Murez
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, November 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Although COVID-19 is reminiscent of common symptoms such as fever and cough, at least 16% of infected patients only have gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a leading research journal.

A team from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada reviewed 36 studies published up to mid-July. The researchers found that 18% had gastrointestinal symptoms, while 16% may have only these symptoms.

Although the gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID vary widely, they can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and general abdominal pain.

“There is a growing amount of literature showing that abdominal symptomatology is a common presentation of COVID-19,” said study co-author Mitch Wilson, radiologist and clinical professor at the university.

Researchers are urging abdominal radiologists to remain vigilant when imaging patients during the pandemic. During imaging, they should look for signs of inflammation of the intestine, air in the intestinal wall, and intestinal perforation. Although these signs are rare, they could suggest that patients have advanced disease.

“Seeing these things doesn’t necessarily tell us that a patient has COVID-19,” Wilson said in a college press release. “It could come from a variety of potential causes. But one of those potential causes is infection with the virus, and in an environment where COVID-19 is very prevalent, this is something to consider and potentially raise as a possibility to the attending physician. “

The results were recently published in the journal Abdominal radiology.

More information

The World Health Organization offers more information on symptoms of COVID-19.

SOURCE: University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, press release, November 3, 2020

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