Live coronavirus was detected in the feces samples of patients who have died from the disease, suggesting the virus may be spreading via the fecal-oral route.
Most people become stricken after a sick person coughs or sniffles, spraying virus-carrying droplets into the air, which are breathed by others.
But Chinese researchers say they have found pieces of the virus’s genetic material in fecal samples from about a dozen patients.
Much Dangerous Than Respiratory
The viral capacity was higher in the fecal specimens than in respiratory samples, according to the organization, led by Guangzhou Medical University.
For the research, issued in Developing Infectious Diseases, the team observed at a 78-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus early this year.
He was hospitalized in Guangzhou, China, on January 17 with a cold, irregular fever, and unusual chest CT scans.
Five days later, on January 22, the man was placed on a ventilator after his health swiftly declined.
Tests discovered the RNA of the virus in four fecal units that were collected between January 27 and February 7. The patient passed away on February 20
When the researchers negatively colored residue from experience and envisioned it using transmission electron microscopy, they saw round viral particles with head proteins characteristic of SARS-CoV-2.
More Samples Collection
Next, researchers collected fecal samples from 27 more patients, 11 of whom had viral RNA in their parts.
The team then successfully quarantined the live virus itself in two patients, indicating that infectious virus in feces is a common indication of COVID-19.
Stool samples collected 17 to 28 days after indications began had higher amounts of virus DNA than respiratory samples.
The live virus couldn’t be quarantined from fecal specimens collected after 28 days, but the team still found viral RNA, indicating only RNA fragments, not a contagious virus.
The researchers perceived the new virus belongs to the same family as SARS, which was also linked to a spread via stool.