- Unexplained episodes of nausea and vomiting may be a sign that your body is reacting to a COVID-19 infection caused by the spread of Omicron.
- Seasonal colds aren’t usually linked to vomiting, experts say, but the absence of co-occurring symptoms may suggest other gastrointestinal issues or health concerns related to COVID-19.
- It is possible that a COVID-19 infection primarily causes nausea or vomiting, especially in people who experience a breakthrough infection.
- Experts say it’s crucial to get tested if you start experiencing other known symptoms, such as fever or body aches, in addition to vomiting.
If there’s one thing experts know about the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, it’s that this strain can typically cause under-the-radar COVID-19 symptoms that don’t always involve shortness of breath or loss. of smell and taste. .
Data collected in December and January by leading infectious disease specialists around the world indicate that Omicron infections tend towards upper respiratory tract symptoms. While it may be more common to experience a cold-like sore throat when infected with Omicron, experts point out that all known symptoms of COVID-19 are a possibility for those affected by Omicron – including a specific symptom that may initially be misleading during the winter season.
More and more medical professionals are noticing an influx of COVID-19 patients reporting feeling nauseous and nauseous or having uncontrollable vomiting as their primary symptom. Although nausea and vomiting are not at once Equivalent to a COVID-19 infection, these symptoms may present before other gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, as noted by providers at Tufts Medical Center. And the problem is that no two cases of COVID-19 are the same; the timing and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms like these may lead you to believe you are suffering from a simple case of food poisoning.
Shruti Gohil, MD, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection control at the University of California at Irvine Health, says chronic nausea and vomiting aren’t the primary symptoms of the common cold or most cases of the flu – you You need to consider these potential secondary issues in relation to food poisoning, or a covid19 infection. When combined with the following symptoms, nausea should prompt you to take the following steps to have your symptoms diagnosed.
What are the other symptoms of a COVID-19 infection?
If you’re unsure whether tummy issues are linked to possible COVID-19 illness, you’re not alone – the research on the role of gastrointestinal symptoms on the spread of COVID during the pandemic has been startling. for the majority. A 2021 scientific review published in the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection found that nausea and vomiting were more often associated with early symptoms than with other side effects. The review authors suggest that nausea, vomiting and problems like diarrhea can be triggered during a COVID-19 infection due to our body’s inflammatory response to the viral infection.
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Dr. Gohil adds that it’s possible for an Omicron-fueled COVID-19 infection to start with gastrointestinal symptoms before progressing to one or more symptoms. Here is the list of conditions you should be aware of, according to federal officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Fever and body chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or muscle and body aches
“You should get tested for COVID-19 if you develop any of the 11 known symptoms of COVID,” says Dr. Gohil, adding that you are more likely to be infected if you experience multiple symptoms simultaneously. “But there are many causes of nausea and vomiting, so you should talk to your doctor to see if you need other tests as well.”
Are nausea and vomiting a sign of Omicron infection?
Although not usually associated with seasonal colds, nausea can be attributed to a myriad of other conditions – ranging from food poisoning to irritable bowel syndrome, dehydration to ulcers; even mental issues like stress. Dr. Gohil explains that if nausea is the only symptom you’re experiencing, a call or visit to your primary health care provider might be the only way to figure out exactly what’s making you sick. “This list of potential problems is long, but your doctor can solve it quite easily after talking about it. [about] your history and examine you if necessary.”
If you have recently been exposed to someone who has confirmed COVID-19 infection, don’t consider nausea just yet. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the digestive system directly in some cases, meaning it’s possible for those who have been infected to experience gastrointestinal symptoms on their own, Tufts experts say. Cell surface receptors in a gastrointestinal tract are 100 times “more abundant” than those in our lungs and are highly sensitive to infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus particles.
Keep a close eye on your nausea and try to rule out the most obvious reasons for chronic vomiting, advises Dr. Gohil. If you have these symptoms for long periods of time and can’t figure out why — or if they turn into other respiratory issues — the best course of action is to seek a COVID-19 test.
The bottom line:
The authors of the same 2021 COVID-19 review argue that healthcare professionals and the public should be more aware of nausea during the pandemic. “Recognizing the characteristics of nausea and vomiting can raise suspicion of COVID-19, lead to early testing and diagnosis of the disease, and help people fight the virus in the long term,” they wrote. era.
Omicron is most likely to affect your upper airways, causing sore throat, headache, congestion, and fever.. But vomiting can be a telltale sign that you might be infected if it’s sudden and inexplicable – and should prompt you to get tested or call your doctor, especially if it’s accompanied by any other breathing problem.
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