An expert has revealed that testing excrement could help provide early detection of a possible COVID-19 infection before other symptoms are visible. Researchers at Australian National University found those patients who were infected with the deadly virus first began excreting traces of COVID-19 almost a week before the flu-like symptoms started to emerge. Thus, proving the importance of stool testing in ordering for faster testing of possible COVID-19 infections in communities.
”What this study will do is let us see whether sewage could be used to continuously monitor the presence of the virus in the community even when case numbers go down.
“This work will also tell us if sewage monitoring can serve as a warning system to give us a heads up before case numbers go up.”
The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study which indicated that symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea along with abdominal pain were reported amongst COVID-19 patients during the early stages of infection.
That said, the study still noted the importance of respiratory symptoms in COVID-19 patients.
In the study of 204 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in China, researchers noted that nearly 49 percent of patients presented to the emergency department had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.
Dr Arun Swaminath, associate professor of medicine at Zucker School of Medicine said: “The authors provide detailed clinical information from 204 patients suggesting that a small minatory had only GI symptoms without the respiratory symptoms.”
Thus, proving the importance of testing one’s stools for the warning symptoms of COVID-19.
“The public and patients should understand that some GI symptoms (such as loose stools up to three times per day) may accompany respiratory complaints in almost half of patients.
“Physicians evaluating new GI complaints should consider COVID-19 and take appropriate precautions,” continued Dr Swaminath.
“No patients with underlying bowel diseases were included, so we don’t know how COVID-19 affects patients with underlying bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.”