Posts tagged with "Wuhan"

Digesting the latest facts: Early symptoms of COVID-19 include queasiness, upset stomach

March 23, 2020

The latest information about the novel coronavirus might be particularly hard to swallow. Until now, we’ve been looking for symptoms of fever and cough—but recent word on the disease indicates that it might start with an upset stomach, The New York Daily News reports.

Nearly half of the patients hospitalized in Wuhan and the wider Chinese province of Hubei, where the fast-spreading sickness was initially discovered, suffered from digestive issues, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Researchers analyzed data from 204 people diagnosed with COVID-19 who were admitted to three different hospitals in the region between January 18 and February 28. The average age was 55. According to the report, 48.5% of those patients said their “chief complaint” was digestive problems, including upset stomach, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Clinicians must bear in mind that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, may be a presenting feature of COVID-19, and that the index suspicion may need to be raised earlier in these cases rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge,” wrote investigators with the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19.

Most people diagnosed with the coronavirus have respiratory symptoms, including a cough and difficulty breathing — but 7% of the patients analyzed did not have any such problems at all.

Researchers noted patients with digestive symptoms also typically waited longer to seek treatment than those without them, the Daily News noted.

“We’re so focused on a cough and fever, but it’s possible there are people with digestive symptoms that are not being tested,” said Dr. Brennan Spiegel, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

He told NY1 that, while the study is only preliminary, it highlights a need to re-evaluate testing criteria so medical officials can move faster to diagnose and quarantine patients.

“People with digestive symptoms in Wuhan presented for care later, on average two days later, compared with those who didn’t have digestive symptoms, because they didn’t suspect they had COVID-19.”

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Flight risk: Charter jet companies report uptick in business amid coronavirus outbreak

February 20, 2020

With many commercial flights to and from mainland China have been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, charter and private jet operators say it’s been “all systems go” for them amid the global health emergency, ABC News reports.

Once thought to be reserved for ultra-wealthy jetsetters, these planes also have been contracted by governments, including e U.S. health authorities, to repatriate their own citizens from China or to send medical supplies to the impacted region.  

Specific data on charter jet travel is not publicly available, ABC News notes, but a handful of the major operators have said they have been flooded with requests.

“Over the last four weeks, the number of coronavirus related inquiries Air Partner has received across the business has increased,” Air Partner—a global aviation services group based in the U.K. that recently helped to evacuate 308 British and EU nations from Wuhan, China—said in a statement. “This includes increased private jet inquiries, requests for medical equipment cargo flights, and emergency evacuations.”

The carrier explained that it had taken precautions to protect healthy crew members and flyers. The aircraft were configured for the flights, with the upper deck designated for crew rest only so that there was clear segregation between the evacuees and the flight crew. There was also a separate section in the nose of the aircraft, which could be used as an isolation zone for passengers if necessary.

“The coronavirus outbreak has been an extremely difficult time for everyone involved and we are very pleased to have safely repatriated a large number of British and EU nationals on behalf of the U.K. government,” Mark Briffa, the CEO of Air Partner, said in a statement.

“Since the outbreak our offices around the world have been arranging flights on local charter aircraft as the world deals with the travel disruption and overall cut to capacity to the region,” Justin Lancaster, the company’s commercial director, said in a statement.

He added that in addition to flying passengers, they have transported 100 metric tons of surgical masks, and that “it has been all systems go since the epidemic was first reported.”

“Some customers have tried to avoid infection by flying with their families on private jets to avoid travelling on commercial aircraft with a large amount of people, whereas several organizations, as well as governments, have evacuated en masse on larger aircraft, such as an Airbus A380,” Lancaster said.

PrivateFly, a booking service for on-demand private jet charter, told ABC News that the company also has noticed an uptick in demand for private flights due to coronavirus.

Adam Twidell, the CEO of UK-based PrivateFly, told ABC News in a statement that the company is “certainly seeing increased demand for private flights out of China, and have had a significant number of inquiries over the past two weeks, from groups and individuals.”

Twidwell said that one was to “set up four flights out of Wuhan for hundreds of passengers for a government client in South America.”

However, demand has been so high, that the charter and private flight companies have told the network news outlet that they haven’t been able to meet all the requests they’ve received.

The coronavirus outbreak in China continues to dampen global economic activity. As of Tuesday, February 18, officials in the country confirmed 72,531 cases of coronavirus and 1,870 deaths due to the virus.

Research contact: @ABC