Covid-19 infects intestines, kidneys and other organs, studies find

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta highlights how Covid-19 is baffling doctors, seemingly triggering a number of health issues and mysterious symptoms all over the body.

Posted: May 13, 2020 9:57 AM
Updated: May 13, 2020 11:45 PM


The new coronavirus can infect organs throughout the body, including lungs, throat, heart, liver, brain, kidneys and the intestines, researchers reported Wednesday.

Two separate reports suggest the virus goes far beyond the lungs and can attack various organs -- findings that can help explain the wide range of symptoms caused by Covid-19 infection.

The findings might help explain some of the puzzling symptoms seen in coronavirus patients. They include blood clots that cause strokes in younger people and that clog dialysis machines, headaches and kidney failure.

Covid-19 is classified as a respiratory virus and is transmitted through respiratory droplets, but it can also sometimes cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Researchers have found evidence of the virus in the stool of patients, and warn that it can be transmitted via what's known as the fecal-oral route.

For one study, Jie Zhou and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong wanted to see how well the virus can flourish in the intestines. They grew intestinal organoids -- lab dish versions of the organs -- from both bats and people. They showed the virus not only lived in these organoids, but replicated.

'The human intestinal tract might be a transmission route of SARS-CoV-2,' the team wrote in their report, published in Nature Medicine.

They also found virus capable of infecting cells in stool taken from a patient with Covid-19.

'A 68-year-old female patient presented with fever, sore throat and productive cough and developed diarrhea after admission to Princess Margaret Hospital,' Zhou and colleagues wrote. 'We isolated infectious virus from her stool specimen,' they added.

'Here we demonstrate active replication of SARS-CoV-2 in human intestinal organoids and isolation of infectious virus from the stool specimen of a patient with diarrheal COVID-19.'

Separately, a team at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany performed autopsies on 27 patients who died from Covid-19. They found the virus in a variety of organs.

'SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in multiple organs, including the lungs, pharynx, heart, liver, brain, and kidneys,' they wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The virus seemed to do especially well in the kidneys, they wrote -- something that might explain the high rate of kidney injury seen among Covid-19 patients.

The ability of the virus to attack various organs might aggravate pre-existing conditions, they added. People with heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease are especially vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

Terre Haute
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 62°
Robinson
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 60°
Rockville
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Casey
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 60°
Brazil
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 62°
Marshall
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 62°
Nice and sunny today!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 292082

Reported Deaths: 8858
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1443155217
DuPage17589561
Lake16953487
Will14045378
Kane13159326
St. Clair6665190
Winnebago6037149
Madison5760137
Champaign473320
McHenry4609118
Peoria351050
McLean329523
Rock Island302676
Kankakee275277
Unassigned2532244
Sangamon243245
Kendall202025
Tazewell178025
LaSalle172557
DeKalb159038
Macon156044
Coles147231
Williamson140645
Jackson126224
Clinton119020
Adams114910
Boone112823
Randolph94111
Effingham8722
Vermilion7914
Whiteside75320
Ogle7286
Monroe68016
Knox6723
Grundy6705
Henry6665
Morgan66223
Bureau65211
Jefferson62038
Marion5661
Christian55411
Macoupin5507
Franklin5413
Stephenson5296
Union51524
McDonough48215
Logan4681
Crawford4584
Woodford4266
Fayette4183
Livingston4036
Cass39811
Jersey39415
Shelby3944
Lee3831
Montgomery37613
Iroquois36719
Perry35315
Saline3464
Warren3332
Bond3305
Douglas3147
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2662
Lawrence2592
Carroll2355
Greene22911
Cumberland2185
Hancock2183
Moultrie2183
Washington2161
Jasper2139
Richland2136
Pulaski1811
Fulton1780
Clark1742
White1690
Wabash1583
Clay1560
Johnson1560
Mason1531
Mercer1405
Piatt1390
Pike1341
De Witt1252
Menard1251
Edgar1138
Massac1132
Ford1055
Marshall1050
Alexander831
Scott790
Gallatin732
Hamilton712
Henderson690
Edwards640
Brown620
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226