COVID-19 has a strong Gut-Connection, says Dr Khuroo

COVID-19 has a strong Gut-Connection, says Dr Khuroo

‘Doctors who perform endoscopies must take utmost precautions as such procedures generate a high amount of aerosol’

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar, May 18: As the Covid-19 virus speeds up its pace to target people across the globe with J&K being a no exception, leading epidemiologist, renowned gastroenterologist and a scientist, Dr. Mohammad Sultan Khuroo today cautioned the people to be aware of their ‘Gut’ as “virus can affect liver and intestines, and can be excreted in feces’.
In an exclusive chat with the news agency KINS, Dr. Khuroo said that even though the primary target of Covid-19 remains throat and lungs, but of late the behavior of virus hints that it may target heart, blood, arteries, liver, kidneys, brain, skin and the pancreas of a person.
“This virus is dangerous and can be more lethal if a person’s intestines get affected’. When an infected person defecates, the stool generates a lot of aerosol at the time the toilet is flushed. When another person uses the same toilet, there is a possibility that he or she may get infected” Dr. Khuroo warned. He cautioned people to take extra precautions while using washrooms and advocated to use covered toilets. “If people don’t have covered toilets, they should wear masks and use buckets to flush the toilets,” Dr. Khuroo said, adding that soon a paper may come out that COVID-19 is transmitted fecal-oral route as well.
The leading epidemiologist said that Covid-19 is a disease with lungs as the primary organ target. “Though its primary target is throat and lungs it is a multi-system disease and can affect heart, arteries, kidney, nervous system, blood, and gut,” he said.
He said that a person who gets infected with Covid-19 may show up liver, intestine, and pancreas manifestations. “Liver disease manifests as an acute liver injury with elevated liver enzymes. It may worsen underlying liver disease. Similarly, when it affects gut (distal small bowel), a person will present with acute diarrhea. The involvement of the pancreas causes elevated amylase and lipase and rarely can cause necrotizing pancreatitis. Lastly, the virus is excreted in stools and stool excretion may last longer than in the throat,” he said.
Similarly, Dr. Khuroo also cautioned that endoscopic procedures can generate a huge amount of aerosol. “Here, doctors involved in the practice must take extra precautions as Covid-19 is spread through aerosols in such situations,” he said. (KINS)