Digestive Issues reported from China study
Data on patients who have been affected by this virus is still at the early stage. It is not consistent for all patients. According to one study currently being reported on 204 patients from China nearly half of them experiences digestive disorders (such as diarrhea , vomiting, and abdominal pain). The study noted that covid patients who did not experience digestive issues had a better chance of getting cured as compared to those that experienced digestive problems (60% compared to 34%). Details of this study are available here.
NEJM perspective indicates 5% with pulmonary & organ failures
The NEJM (Journal Watch) offers another perspective on Covid patients. According to Patricia Kritek, MD an Associate Director of the Journal Watch, for majority of the patients the disease is mild but an estimated 5% of the patients require intensive care for an assortment of issues ranging from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), shock, and multi organ failure. This could is an important observation and should be a major concern for older population and individuals that have pulmonary and other COPD pre-existing conditions.
Washington study of older patients reports cardiomyopathy & pulmonary issues
Another study 21 older patients in Washington was recently published by the JAMA Network, According to the findings, high rate of cardiomyopathy was observed in this study. Initial symptoms included shortness of breath (76%), fever (52%), and cough (48%). The study also noted that mechanical ventilation was initiated in 15 patients which was about 71%. Overall, the study was limited to this one senior facility in Washington but offers serious concerns for the impact of this virus in general on older patients.
We will continue to report clinical or other hospital studies on covid patients as they become available.