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EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325182


Background: To investigate the clinical symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), particularly the prevalence, time of symptom onset, and duration of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Methods This was a cross-sectional study using paper questionnaires. COVID-19 patients in a temporary hospital in Wuhan voluntarily completed surveys collecting data on COVID-19 symptoms and investigation results. Results A total of 212 adults were enrolled in this study, of whom 127 (59.9%) were female, mean age was 48.50 ± 13.15 years. Concerning symptoms, 78.8% (167/212) had fever, and 66% (140/212) had cough. Diarrhoea occurred in 43.8% (93/212) of patients. Nausea and vomiting were also common (20.7%). Fever and cough were frequently the initial symptoms of COVID-19, and they lasted for 5.00 [interquartile range (IQR): 3.00–10.00] days and 10.00 (IQR: 5.00–24.00) days, respectively. Most patients developed nausea and vomiting 2.00 (IQR: 0–9.00) days and diarrhoea 5.00 (IQR: 0.25–11.00) days after the onset of initial symptoms, respectively. There was a median duration of 4.00 (IQR: 2.00–8.75) days with diarrhoea, and 6.00 (IQR: 4.00–10.00) days with nausea and vomiting. The patients with diarrhoea were younger [45.85 ± 13.28 years vs 50.61 ± 12.82 years, P  = 0.009] and were more likely to have an abnormal chest CT (95.7% vs 82.4%, P  = 0.001) than those without diarrhoea. Conclusions In our cohort of patients, GI symptoms were common in COVID-19, occurred mostly during the middle stage of the disease, and lasted for a short duration. GI symptoms may not be associated with COVID-19 related treatment.