Vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea in children could be a sign of Covid-19 in minors, according to scientists in the United Kingdom.
A team of researchers at Belfast’s Queen’s University have been studying children and say these things should be added to the list of symptoms.
Until now, the officially recognized symptoms in the UK were fever, cough, as well as the loss of smell or taste.
Any person with these symptoms should self-isolate and get immediately tested.
The United States Centres for Disease Control already list vomiting or nausea and diarrhoea among possible coronavirus symptoms.
In the trial, around 1000 kids underwent a blood test to check if they had contracted the virus.
The results, made public at medRxiv, showed 68 of the 992 children had antibodies to the virus, meaning they had been infected with Sars-Cov-2 at some point in time.
Half of the children who came out positive reported having symptoms, the most common of which is fever and is reported as commonly by kids who tested negative as those who tested positive.
Vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps were reported by 13 of the 68 kids who had developed antibodies and seemed to be significantly associated with COVID-19.
The loss of taste or smell was far less common – reported by only six of the kids with antibodies.
None of the kids tested was seriously ill or needed special care.
Head researcher Dr. Tom Waterfield said the following:
“We know that, thankfully, most children who get the virus will not be very ill with it – but we still do not know how much children may be spreading it.”
In the study, testing only the kids who had fever, cough or issues with taste or smell would have identified 26 out of 34 or 76% of the symptomatic cases.
Adding gastrointestinal issues would have identified almost all – 33 out of 34 or 97% – of the children with symptoms, he said.
“We are finding that diarrhoea and vomiting is a symptom reported by some children and I think adding it to the list of known symptoms is worth considering,” Dr Waterfield added.
An official from the Department of Health and Social Care noted:
“An expert scientific group keeps the symptoms of Covid-19 under review as we increase our understanding of the virus.
“Anyone in England experiencing the main symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should get a test as soon as possible.”
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