The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread worldwide. Herein, we aimed to clarify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with diarrhea.
A descriptive design was adopted from Jan 10 to Feb 17, 2020. All the cases included were diagnosed with COVID-19 under the interim guidance of the WHO.
912 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital, in which, 90 cases (9.87%) presented with diarrhea. Among the 90 cases, 8 cases (9%) presented with diarrhea as the initial symptom, and 24%, 17%, and 24% of the patients complained of nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite, respectively. The most common fecal characteristics on admission were watery stool (64%) and mushy stool (28%). For the defecation frequency, 37% of the cases defecated over three times a day. The median time from illness onset to diarrhea was 3.0 days (IQR 0.0-5.0) and the median duration of diarrhea was 5.0 days (IQR 2.0-9.3).
Clinicians are required to promptly identify the patients with initial diarrhea symptoms and pay adequate attention to the nutrient requirements of the patients with diarrhea during hospitalization. Standardized management is also recommended for the discharge of the patients to avoid potential fecal-oral transmission.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.