SARS-CoV-2 found in stool 'weeks' after infection

Enteric manifestations of the disease and patterns of faecal shedding need to be understood, researchers say

Viral RNA from SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in patients weeks after symptom onset and often after respiratory swabs have become negative, two studies show.

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Whether or not the virus is viable in such stool samples is unknown, but the findings bring concern that some patients with COVID-19 could be a source of infection in the weeks after they have “recovered”.

In the first study — a meta-analysis of 12 studies reporting stool analyses published in Gastroenterology by Hong Kong researchers — 48% of stool samples