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Scientists have figured out why this weird coronavirus symptom happens

Scientists have figured out how this weird coronavirus symptom works and what causes it.

Published Wed, May 6 2020 7:36 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:19 PM CDT

The coronavirus has a slew of terrible symptoms, and some of them can even fall into the 'strange' category. One of those is gastrointestinal symptoms, which is quite odd for a primarily respiratory infection.

Scientists have figured out why this weird coronavirus symptom happens 03 |

Those symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting, and while the Centers For Disease and Prevention (CDC) hasn't included them in the official COVID-19 symptoms, they do mention that people, and especially children may experience them. But why is this the case? Scientists from Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, and Maastricht University in the Netherlands decided to explore that question, and found that the virus is capable of infecting the epithelial cells of the intestine.

The scientists grew an artificial gut (organoids) from adult human stem cells and infected it with SARS-CoV-2. The scientists observed the virus hooking up to the same ACE2 receptor that is in the lungs. Once hooked up to the ACE2 receptor, they begin to invade cells, and the replication process of the virus begins, and thus the spreading. Hubrecht Institute's Hans Clevers told said to SciTech Daily, "These organoids contain the cells of the human intestinal lining, making them a compelling model to investigate infection by SARS-CoV-2".

Erasmus MC's Bart Haagmans, said, "The observations made in this study provide definite proof that SARS-CoV-2 can multiply in cells of the gastrointestinal tract. However, we don't yet know whether SARS-CoV-2, present in the intestines of COVID-19 patients, plays a significant role in transmission. Our findings indicate that we should look into this possibility more closely."

While these findings are good, they are incomplete as scientists don't know if patients who are showing these specific symptoms are infectious or not, and how long the body takes to clear out of the gut of an infection. More research still needs to be done.

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Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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