For identifying coronavirus patients, doctors were focusing on respiratory samples from pneumonia cases. Now a new study suggests that Coronavirus might be spreading via feces.
Although primary cause for this deadly virus is believed to be virus-laden droplets from an infected person’s cough. Researchers realized they have overlooked those linked to the digestive tract.
According to new report by Chinese authors in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), about 10% patients in a Wuhan hospital suffered from diarrhea and nausea for a few days before developing fever and breathing difficulties.
The first U.S. case of coronavirus experienced loose stool for two days and virus was detected in his loose stool.
However this doesn’t imply that fecal matter is responsible for the spread of the illness. But it definitely provides evidence for another similarity between coronavirus and SARS.
William Keevil, a professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, said, “Importantly, 2019-nCoV has been reported elsewhere in the feces of patients with a typical abdominal symptoms, similar to SARS which was also shed in urine, suggesting a fecal transmission route which is highly transmissible,”
According to Fang Li, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, SARS and Wuhan viruses bind to the same distinctly shaped protein receptors in the body that are expressed in the lungs and intestines. This makes these organs the primary targets for both viruses.
However it is too early to come to any conclusion. Much more research is required before any firm conclusions can be made.