While most of screening for Corona virus is focused on respiratory samples from pneumonia cases to identify corona-virus patients, there is possibility that doctors might have ignored a less apparent and hidden source of the spread: diarrhea.
The new corona-virus was detected in faeces inthe first case confirmed in the United States and that finding could point to a hidden risk in the spread of the virus.
“It’s not only excreted in your respiratory secretions, it’s also secreted in your stool,” Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for infectious disease at Washington State’s Department of Health, said on a conference call on Friday, reported Bloomberg.
Fang Li, an associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences at the University of Minnesota, said that the SARS and Wuhan viruses attach to the same protein receptors, which are seen in the lungs and intestines.
John Nicholls, a clinical professor of pathology at the University of Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that fecal material “would be a very likely place where you might get the transmission.”
“If it’s using the same receptor as for SARS, I can’t see why it shouldn’t be replicating in the gut,” he said.
Ten to 20 percent of SARS patients experienced diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Diarrhea was the source of a major outbreak of that coronavirus in a Hong Kong complex. The CDC said that coronaviruses most commonly spread through the air by coughing and sneezing or close personal contact. In rare cases, the viruses spread through fecal contamination.