Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus: Stomach problems could indicate Covid-19, study says

Reuters/New York
Filed on November 11, 2020

(Prostock-studio / Alamy Stock Photo)

Gastrointestinal complaints are among new warning signs identified for the deadly virus, according to US experts.

Fever, coughing, and shortness of breath are known symptoms of Covid-19, but other warning signs can include weakness, poor blood sugar control and gastrointestinal complaints, according to a new study published on in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Researchers analysed nearly 12,000 visits by adult patients to emergency departments at five New York City hospitals.

They found Covid-19 in 57.5 per cent of patients who went to the hospital because of weakness, falls, or altered mental status, in 55.5 per cent of those who came in because their blood sugar was out of control, and in 51.4 per cent of patients whose chief complaint was a gastrointestinal problem.

Patients over the age of 65 tended to have more atypical complaints such as diarrhoea, fatigue and weakness. Patients with dehydration, altered mental status, falls and high blood sugar were at higher risk for death in the study.

The new findings can help hospitals provide better care and are "also important for family members and people that work with the elderly to better identify possible warning signs of Covid-19 infection," co-author Dr. Christopher Clifford of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai told Reuters.

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