Dr. Acton: New symptoms of COVID-19 include GI issues, fatigue, no fever

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — During Tuesday’s press conference, Dr. Amy Acton provided new numbers regarding the coronavirus, new symptoms and encouraged people who don’t feel well to stay home.

“If you don’t feel well in any way, just stay home,” Dr. Acton said.

She stressed the importance of staying home in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, which will in turn lower the number of people who need to go to the hospital. Dr. Acton said hospitals in Ohio are at 60 percent capacity and they will need to build extra capacity to treat patients.

Dr. Acton said new symptoms are arising including gastrointestinal tract issues and fatigue. She said even if you don’t have these symptoms or other symptoms related to COVID-19 and still don’t feel well, then you should still stay home.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said “we clearly don’t have enough capacity as it stands today” and that they will use buildings that are already in place to treat more patients.

Previously, symptoms of viral infection were thought to be limited to those similar to the flu – fever, tiredness, and a dry cough, with difficulty breathing in more severe cases. Patients continue to show those symptoms as well.

A small study from China published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that forms of GI upset – not previously considered to be a common coronavirus symptom – were the “chief complaint” in almost half of the COVID-19 cases studied, CNN reports. Symptoms ranged from loss of appetite to diarrhea and vomiting.

The study involved 204 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Hubei Province, China.

Researchers warned, “if clinicians solely monitor for respiratory symptoms to establish case definitions for COVID-19, they may miss cases initially presenting with extra-pulmonary symptoms, or the disease may not be diagnosed later until respiratory symptoms emerge.”

They went on to suggest that missing early GI symptoms could have contributed to the early spread of the virus among health care workers in China.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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