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Is vomiting a sign of COVID-19 infection?

Is vomiting a sign of COVID-19 infection?

  • Unexplained bouts of nausea and vomiting could be a sign that your body is reacting to a COVID-19 infection caused by the spread of Omicron.
  • Seasonal colds aren’t usually linked to vomiting, experts explain, but the lack of concurrent symptoms could indicate other gastrointestinal problems or health concerns related to COVID-19.
  • It is possible that a COVID-19 infection will primarily cause nausea or vomiting, especially for those experiencing a breakthrough infection.
  • Experts say it’s crucial to get tested if you start experiencing other known symptoms, such as a fever or body aches, in addition to vomiting.

    If there is anything that experts know about the… Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, it is that this strain can often lead to under-the-radar COVID-19 symptoms that don’t always come with shortness of breath or loss of smell and taste.

    Data collected in December and January by leading infectious disease specialists around the world indicate that Omicron infections tend toward upper respiratory symptoms. Although it may be more common to experience a cold-like sore throat during an Omicron infection, experts emphasize that: all known COVID-19 symptoms are a possibility for those affected by Omicron – including a specific symptom that can be misleading at first during the winter season.

    More healthcare professionals are noting an influx of COVID-19 patients reporting feeling sick, nauseous or having uncontrolled vomiting as a primary symptom. While nausea and vomiting don’t immediately similar to a COVID-19 infection, these symptoms may appear first before other gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, as noted by providers at Tufts Medical Center. And the problem is, no two cases of COVID-19 are the same; the timing and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms like these may lead you to think you are suffering from a simple case of food poisoning.

    Shruti Gohil, MD, an associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at University of California Irvine Health, says chronic nausea and vomiting aren’t primary symptoms for the common cold or most flu cases — you need to consider those secondary potential root problems compared to food poisoning or a COVID-19 infection. In conjunction with the following symptoms, nausea should prompt you to take the following steps to diagnose your symptoms.

    What are other symptoms of a COVID-19 infection?

    If you’re not sure if stomach problems are related to possible COVID-19 disease, you’re not alone – research on the role of gastrointestinal symptoms on the spread of COVID during the pandemic has come as a surprise to most. A 2021 scientific review published in the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection found that nausea and vomiting were more often associated with initial symptoms than other side effects. The review’s authors suggest that nausea, vomiting, and problems such as diarrhea can be caused in a COVID-19 infection as a result of our body’s inflammatory response to the virus infection.

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    dr. Gohil adds that it’s possible that an Omicron-fueled COVID-19 infection can start showing gastrointestinal symptoms before one or more symptoms appear. Here’s the list of conditions you should be aware of, according to federal officials at the centers for disease control and prevention:

    • Fever and chills
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Headache
    • Constipation or runny nose
    • A sore throat
    • Cough
    • Fatigue or muscle and body aches
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea

      “You should be tested for COVID-19 if you develop any of the 11 known COVID symptoms,” says Dr. Gohil, adding that you are more likely to be infected if you experience multiple symptoms at the same time. “But there are many causes of nausea and vomiting, so you should talk to your doctor to see if you need other tests as well.”

      Are Nausea and Vomiting a Sign of Omicron Infections?

      While not usually associated with a seasonal cold, nausea can be traced back to a host of other conditions — everything from food poisoning to irritable bowel syndrome, dehydration to ulcers; even mental problems such as stress. dr. Gohil explains that if nausea is the only symptom you experience, a phone call or visit to your primary care provider may be the only way to determine exactly what is making you sick. “This list of potential problems is long, but your doctor can go through it pretty easily after a conversation [about] your history and examine you if necessary.”

      If you’ve recently been exposed to someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 infection, don’t brush off nausea like anything else just yet. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the digestive system directly in some cases, meaning it’s possible for those infected to experience only gastrointestinal symptoms, according to Tufts experts. Cell surface receptors in a gastrointestinal tract are 100 times “more abundant” than those in our lungs, and are highly susceptible to infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus particles.

      Keep a close eye on your nausea and try to rule out more obvious reasons for chronic vomiting, advises Dr. gohil. If you experience these symptoms for extended periods of time and can’t determine why – or if they progress into other breathing problems – the best solution is to get a COVID-19 test.

      It comes down to:

      Authors behind same 2021 COVID-19 review argue that both healthcare professionals and the public should be more aware of nausea during the pandemic. “Recognizing symptoms of nausea and vomiting can raise suspicions of COVID-19, leading to early testing and diagnosis of the disease, and help people fight the virus in the long term,” they wrote at the time.

      Omicron is most likely to affect your upper respiratory tract causing things like sore throat, headache, congestion and fever. But vomiting can be a telltale sign that you may be infected if it’s sudden and unexplained — and should prompt you to get tested or call your doctor, especially if it’s associated with another breathing problem.

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