People with GI symptoms are not being tested for COVID-19, TPMG physician tells ‘Science’


People with gastroenterological symptoms are not being tested for COVID-19, perhaps allowing numerous cases to go undetected, Douglas A. Corley, MD, PhD, of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), told Science magazine.

Douglas Corley, MD, PhD

As clinicians and pathologists seek to understand how the coronavirus damages the body, they are learning that, although the lungs are most affected, the virus’s reach can extend to other organs, including the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, gut, and brain.

Dr. Corley was one of several experts quoted in the article, “A rampage through the body.” The story notes that recent scientific reports suggest up to half of patients, averaging about 20% across studies, experience diarrhea. But gastroenterological symptoms aren’t on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of COVID-19 symptoms.

“If you mainly have fever and diarrhea, you won’t be tested for COVID,” said Dr. Corley, a TPMG gastroenterologist and research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Northern California. Corley is also co-editor of the journal Gastroenterology.

To read the entire article, go to the Science website.