Is gastroenteritis a sign of a possible infection with the Delta variant of COVID-19? While this particularly contagious mutation of the virus is now the main strain present in the UK and most of Europe, experts are warning of symptoms that differ from other strains and could easily be confused with those of a common cold, such as a headache, sore throat, or runny nose.
But that's not all. During their observations as part of the ZOE COVID study, a non-profit initiative launched in March 2020 to define the symptoms of patients, researchers brought out unexpected symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea, a symptom of the Delta variant?
As a result, the National Health Service (NHS), the British public health authority, has been recommending that people be particularly attentive to the appearance of this type of gastric symptom, among others.
Dr. Clarisse Audigier-Valette, head of the COVID unit at the Toulon hospital in France, explains:
Unlike runny noses or sore throats, we have indicators for gastroenteritis, via calls to SOS doctors or emergency room visits. This is one of the first symptoms of COVID, which should be used to assess the circulation of the epidemic in the population.
In the event of symptoms, 'you must go and get tested'
The French doctor continues:
It is not the season for gastroenteritis. So if you have digestive problems, this should alert you to a possible contamination with COVID (...). You should go and get tested.
Digestive problems are one of the first signs of COVID and if we are attentive to them, this can save time in isolating the patient and therefore reduce the number of contaminations.