The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now listed two warning signs which are found in the tummy as official symptoms of COVID-19. There has been controversy surrounding these symptoms in the UK, with many suggesting the UK is lagging behind in the recognition of symptoms. What are they and why has the UK not updated its symptom list yet?
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Research has suggested that gastrointestinal distress is relatively common in people with COVID-19.
Numerous studies have found that nearly one-third of COVID-19 patients had digestive symptoms.
Two major warning signs which have now been included on CDC’s official symptom list include diarrhoea and vomiting.
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In a study by Stanford University, gastrointestinal symptoms common in COVID-19 patients were studied.
The study reported: “Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the classic symptoms of COVID-19, but there may be gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhoea, that are getting missed.
“Researchers found that, in addition to upper respiratory symptoms, a significant number of those sick with the new virus also suffered from loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
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“Researchers analysed data collected from 116 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus at Stanford Health Care from 4 to 24 March.”
Gastrointestinal symptoms were reported by 31.9 percent of the patients with the majority of the group describing the symptoms as mild.
Twenty two percent said they experienced loss of appetite, 22 percent had nausea and vomiting, and 12 percent had diarrhoea.
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What the experts said
Dr Alexander Podbody said COVID-19 is probably not just respiratory symptoms like a cough.
He added: “A third of the patients we studied had gastrointestinal symptoms.
“It’s possible we may be missing a significant portion of patients sick with the coronavirus due to our current testing strategies focussing on respiratory symptoms alone.”
The NHS currently lists a high temperature, continuous cough and loss of smell or taste as symptoms of COVID-19.
It advises people to self-isolate and get tested if they experience only these three symptoms.
Some experts have suggested not recognising gastrointestinal symptoms could result in unknown spread of the virus.
If you are suffering with nausea or vomiting with no obvious reason why, it may be important to take extra precaution and carry out self-isolation measures.
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