Digestive Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients with Mild Disease Severity: Clinical Presentation, Stool Viral RNA Testing, and Outcomes

What is New Here • We describe a unique sub-group of COVID-19 patients with low severity disease marked by presence of digestive symptoms. • These patients are more likely to test positive in stool for COVID-19 RNA, to have a longer delay before viral clearance, and to experience delayed diagnosis compared to patients with respiratory symptoms but no digestive symptoms. • In some cases, the digestive symptoms, particularly diarrhea, can be the initial presentation of COVID-19, and may only later or never present with respiratory symptoms or fever. • These data emphasize that patients with new-onset digestive symptoms after a possible COVID-19 contact should be suspected for the illness, even in the absence of cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fever.

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