This systematic review showed that diarrhea is a presenting symptom of patients with COVID-19, and raises concerns of continued fecal-oral transmission after respiratory symptoms have resolved.
Researchers noted an increasing number of reports of diarrhea related to COVID-19. They conducted a systematic review of studies looking at both diarrhea and the mechanism of intestinal inflammation in patients with confirmed infections.
Studies varied from an incidence rate of 2% to 50% of cases. They found that diarrhea may precede or follow respiratory symptoms. A pooled analysis showed diarrhea onset in 10.4% of cases. Several studies reported RNA shedding in stool for a longer time period than in nasopharyngeal swabs.