Covid-19: gastric disorders, more frequent symptoms than we thought

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Until now, digestive disorders were considered quite rare symptoms of Covid-19. A new study reveals that almost one in five people infected with the virus would only have gastrointestinal symptoms.

Fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, fatigue. The main symptoms of Covid-19 are already known to everyone. But we do know: other less common manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection can also appear. Among them, we find gastric disorders. According to a meta-analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) and published in the journal Abdominal Radiology, these symptoms are actually more common than one might imagine.

Nausea, loss of appetite Common symptoms of Covid-19?

To find out, the authors analyzed the results of 36 studies published between March 31 and July 15. They not only found that 18% of people affected by Covid-19 had gastric manifestations, but above all that 16% of people infected by the virus had only these symptoms. They had no cough or fever, just digestive problems.

Therefore, these Covid-19 manifestations would be more frequent than previously thought. "There is a growing body of literature showing that abdominal symptomatology is a common presentation of Covid-19," says study co-author Mitch Wilson. The researchers specify that these signs of the disease can manifest themselves mainly by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Covid-19: other visible gastric manifestations thanks to medical imaging

In their work they also found the presence of possible signs visible through medical images, such as inflammation of the small and large intestine, the presence of air in the intestinal wall or an intestinal perforation. "Seeing these things does not necessarily tell us that a patient has Covid-19. It could be due to several potential causes. But one of those potential causes is infection with the virus, and in an environment where Covid-19 is very widespread, it is something that should be considered by the treating physician, "says Mitch Wilson. The presence of such symptoms could be associated with a severe form of Covid-19.

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