On the blackest day in Italy since the outbreak of the epidemic, with 6 infected in Lombardy, other news arrives. The China discovered coronavirus particles in vivo in stool samples. This is the index of a fecal-oral route for Covid-19, and is probably the cause of the serious failure of the quarantine on cruise ships. The spread on the Diamond Princess (yesterday other 2 victims) and other cruise ships has the dynamics of what happens with a gastroenteric norovirus.
Two immediate consequences in diagnosis and prophylaxis
These evidences bring two novelties, one obvious, the other less so, in terms of coronavirus diagnosis and prophylaxis.
First of all, the need to strengthen hygiene measures. It is absolutely necessary to prevent fecal-oral transmission in epidemic areas. These include drinking boiled water, avoiding eating raw foods, implementing separate meal systems, washing hands often, sanitizing toilets, and preventing the contamination of water and food from patient stools.
On the diagnostic level, the discovery brings clues to other errors in identifying the disease. According to the latest research from Chinese doctors, rectal swab tests can detect the virus that causes pneumonia in patients
even when conventional oral tests are negative .
It is a major paradigm shift, which raises further doubts about how the epidemic was dealt with. Especially in the early stages, it was considered that a patient was negative simply after oral swab, repeated several times before decreeing the absence of virus in the patient. The next time some of these patients became ill, the accounts never returned.
To date, therefore, Covid-19 has been found in oral, rectal and blood swabs. Infected patients can eliminate (and / or spread) the pathogen via respiratory, fecal-oral or body fluids.
Here is the research published in the journal Journal Emerging Microbes & Infections