Coronavirus pneumonia in children can begin without respiratory symptoms

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Such conclusions are made by Chinese scientists, whose article was published in Frontiers in Pediatrics . The fact is that the type of receptors in the lung cells that the virus targets can also be found in the intestines.

“Covid-19 affects most children only to a small extent, and only in a small number of severe cases serious health problems arise. It is easy to miss the diagnosis at an early stage when the child has non-respiratory symptoms or suffers from another disease, ”says one of the authors of this study, Dr. Wenbin Li, who works in the pediatrics department of Wuhan Tongji Hospital. Dr. Lee and his colleagues describe in detail the clinical features of children admitted to the hospital with non-respiratory symptoms. In children, Covid-19 and its characteristic pneumonia were subsequently diagnosed.

Children turned to the emergency department for a variety of non-coronavirus-related problems – from a kidney stone to a head injury. All admission CT scan revealed pneumonia, and then the presence of Covid-19 was confirmed. There were no significant respiratory symptoms, but almost all had gastrointestinal upsets.

By highlighting such cases, the authors hope that doctors will use this information to quickly diagnose and isolate patients with similar symptoms, which will help at the beginning of treatment and reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

The authors also suggest that such a “gastrointestinal” onset of the disease may indicate that infection occurred through the digestive tract. Lee explains how this type of symptom may be associated with a non-respiratory infection: “The gastrointestinal symptoms these children experience may be related to receptor distribution and transmission related to Covid-19 infection in humans.

The virus infects humans through the ACE2 receptor, which can be found in certain cells in the lungs, as well as in the intestines. This suggests that Covid-19 is able to infect patients not only through the airways in the form of air droplets, but also through the digestive tract in contact or fecal-oral transmission. ”

The data obtained are very important and can help to better understand the mechanism of coronavirus infection, as well as to monitor the course of the disease in children and adults. However, since the sample was extremely small, additional studies are needed to confirm these findings, including on the clinical data of a large sample of patients.

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