If you are thinking of using over the counter medicine for nausea right now, our news may give you a pause. Over the counter nausea medicine has always been booming because people can develop nausea because of many possible health issues, including (surprisingly), COVID-19.
Is nausea a symptom of COVID-19?
According to health experts from the World Health Organization, nausea is one of the critical symptoms of COVID-19 infections, right next to dry cough and fever. COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus that comes from a massive family of viruses that affect a variety of mammals, not just humans. Luckily, they don’t all jump onto humans, but every century or so, some do – and COVID-19 is a classic example of what is believed to be a zoonotic transmission of a virus.
Zoonotic transmission occurs when viruses that used to infect animals only find a way to clamber aboard humans. These viruses adapt to human cell structures and eventually find a way to affect people, instead of just being infective to animals like dogs and bats. An early theory on the origins of the novel coronavirus suggests that bats likely transmitted the virus.
The coronavirus family is also home to MERS or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The same can be said of SARS, which made its frantic appearance in the world back in 2003. Based on actual data, it would appear that COVID-19 has a faster spread rate than both MERS and SARS, which makes it more of a threat to populations, especially in countries with weaker or underfunded healthcare systems.
According to the WHO, people should be aware of symptoms that are now associated with COVID-19 infections. These are symptoms that have been observed over months on patients with the virus.
Again, the most immediate symptoms are having a dry cough and developing a fever. The patients then create a plethora of different symptoms from a sore throat, pink eye, nausea, and even diarrhea in some cases. The differences in symptoms seem to be linked with the severity of the infection and the patient’s age. For example, COVID toes or rashes on foot are more associated with children who have COVID-19.
Nausea and COVID-19
The majority of COVID-19 patients develop severe respiratory distress and fever. They begin coughing uncontrollably, and some of them even develop scar tissue in their lungs. These current findings show that COVID-19 causes clotting in the lung tissue, which causes lung tissue damage as the infection marches on. However, there might be one critical sign that experts may have missed before – nausea.
To clarify any confusion on the term, nausea refers to a specific feeling of unease that is linked to the stomach. People call it by different names like queasiness and such, but it is medically known as nausea. Nausea is often linked to vomiting, but they are not diseases – they are clinical signs or symptoms of underlying medical causes.
Nausea can be caused not just by COVID-19 but by a variety of conditions such as motion sickness, gallbladder problems, extreme fear, food poisoning, and overeating.
People can also become nauseated with the sight of things that they don’t like, such as blood, or when they are reactive to certain odors (like the sharp smell of metal and other fragrances). This is the tricky part about determining the cause of nausea – it literally can be anything, so it would be best not to self-diagnose and approach a physician if you are feeling nauseated.
In the case of COVID-19, however, nausea is associated with the gastrointestinal system, which means that the virus doesn’t just focus on the lungs; it also goes to the GI tract. The current theory suggests that COVID-19 can inflict damage on the liver and the stomach, too. This becomes problematic for vulnerable patients who want to know how to make nausea go away.
More recent studies into the disease’s pathogenesis have revealed that up to a third of patients tend to develop diarrhea, while a COVID-19 infection is still ongoing. Fortunately for us trying to avoid getting COVID-19, the watery stool that results from this clinical sign of the disease does not seem severe. Diarrhea (if any) will last for about five days. The duration is similar to the length of other symptoms like rashes. It has been observed that patients who develop loose bowel movements during an infection will be more likely to get positive results when the loose stool is analyzed.
Sadly, those with nausea and diarrhea also fared poorly in terms of the recovery period. These patients tended to recover more slowly than those without any nausea or GI issues while convalescing.
If you feel that you this type of ailment, get checked out in a local hospital. If you do turn out positive and are still sent home because you only have mild symptoms, socially isolate yourself for the time being (individual quarantine) and, if possible, use a separate bathroom and bedroom, so you don’t expose other people in the household too much to the virus.
How important is it to know the symptoms of COVID-19?
This kind of knowledge is essential because people don’t know what symptoms tend to spread the virus the most. Right now, experts from the US and elsewhere are still cautious about educating people on how the virus is spreading. At the beginning of the pandemic, people were not fully aware of how the virus was spreading, so there was barely any effort to contain it. But now that we do, people are wearing masks, washing their hands more, and are practicing health guidelines such as social distance.