LivingIs the coronavirus spread through intestinal gases?

Is the coronavirus spread through intestinal gases?

In the midst of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, authorities are issuing increasingly detailed recommendations, as we learn more about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. There are already solid recommendations on contagion through sexual intercourse, on how to disinfect surfaces that are suspected of being contaminated …

In homes where there are one or more infected relatives, who must keep their distance from their relatives, tricky questions can arise. We know that the main route of transmission of COVID-19 is saliva, through the microscopic droplets that are emitted when we speak, cough … But, what other bodily fluids can infect the virus? Is COVID-19 spread through, for example, intestinal gas?

This question does not merely respond to the curiosity of human eschatological curiosity, but it is logical to ask it in light of the recent discoveries about SARS-CoV-2: scientists have observed that the levels of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE2) , which facilitate the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus into cells, are also elevated in organs other than the lungs, such as the intestine.

In addition, various screening tests are being developed based on fecal waters, to find out the immunity of a certain community. The reason is that the coronavirus can be detected in the feces of those infected, with which this could also be a possible route of infection : fecal-oral transmission can be part of the clinical picture of COVID-19, according to two published reports in the bible of diseases of the digestive system, Gastroenterology . This is confirmed by Dr. Ramón Tormo, a specialist in diseases of the Digestive System and Pediatrics, and a member of Top Doctors.

“Researchers find that the RNA and proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19, are shed in the stool early in infection and persist after respiratory symptoms subside. Therefore, it is It is logical that they are found in fecal wastewater “, Tormo tells us.” ACE2 receptors, which serve as entry points for SARS-CoV-2, as well as SARS-CoV-1 are more abundant in the cell membranes of the AT2 cells of the lung, but also in the enterocytes of the ileum and colon ”.

This gives feces an important infectious capacity and, given the few symptoms of children, we must always clean children’s bottoms with soap and water . “The same is true for adults,” says the doctor.

For more data, according to Dr. Tormo: “only about 10% of people with COVID-19 have gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is not yet known whether some infected individuals only have gastrointestinal symptoms.” A study carried out by Dr. Fei Xiao, from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong province (China), found ACE2 receptors, which serve as entry points to the virus, as well as viral nucleocapsid proteins in gastric epithelial cells, duodenal and rectal glandular.

But what about intestinal gas?

“The virus is a protein molecule (in this case RNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat) that, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or oral mucosa, changes its genetic code (mutation) and the it becomes aggressive and multiplying cells. In intestinal gases, resulting from fermentation in the large intestine, of undigested carbohydrates in the small intestine and more rarely of proteins, there can be no protein molecule covered by fat; therefore, intestinal gas, expelled through the anus (fart), cannot be infectious, unless it is accompanied by liquid or solid fecal matter “, confirms the doctor.

And the gases expelled by the mouth?

With regard to gases expelled through the mouth (belching), they would not be contagious in themselves, but there is a nuance: “In this case it is much easier for belching to be accompanied by material from the mouth or nose , which they do they can contain viral particles, ”he says.

Hygienic recommendations

Dr. Tormo concludes: “In summary: feces can be contagious; intestinal gas expelled through the anus, if not accompanied by feces, is not contagious. The burp itself is not contagious , but it is much easier to be accompanied by material from the mouth or nose, which can be contagious ”.

Finally, the doctor recommends, when burping, do it protected with the appropriate mask, if it is necessary to manipulate feces, do it with hygiene; and wash the anus and surroundings with soap and water, especially in children, even if they are asymptomatic.

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