Epidemiology of COVID-19: Implications for a Gastroenterologist
“The cleanest skies are seen only after the rain”
It is unclear whether the current novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic brought to our doorsteps has zoonotic origins from some bats or has origins in some laboratory. However, it is mandatory for us to be aware of the rapid scientific developments in this field to tackle this problem effectively. In this issue, Chowdhury and Oommen have highlighted the epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 infection. The present editorial will focus on the implications and lessons that gastroenterologists need to learn from the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome-cronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Gastroenterologists are faced with a unique situation that they must enter precisely the area in which the virus is thriving, namely, the throat of the infected patient with their endoscopes, without maintaining social distancing, and come out unscathed. The gastroenterologists must be prepared to handle the situation arising out of spread of this virus which has high infectivity, could transmit from asymptomatic individuals, and has a prolonged infectivity which is spreading in a population with virtually no herd immunity. In India, there is a steady rise in number of cases, though we have managed to flatten the curve to some extent due to lock down rightly imposed by our government in contrast to other countries, where delay resulted in a steep curve.
16 May 2020 (online)
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.
A-12, Second Floor, Sector -2, NOIDA -201301, India
- 1 Chowdhury SD, Oommen AM. Epidemiology of COVID-19. J Dig Endosc 2020; 11: 3-7
- 2 Gu J, Han B, Wang J. COVID-19: gastrointestinal manifestations and potential fecal-oral transmission. Gastroenterology 2020; (e-pub ahead of print) DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.02.054.
- 3 Wu Y, Guo C, Tang L. et al. Prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in faecal samples. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 5 (05) 434-435
- 4 Wang XW, Li J, Guo T. et al. Concentration and detection of SARS coronavirus in sewage from Xiao Tang Shan Hospital and the 309th Hospital of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Water Sci Technol 2005; 52 (08) 213-221
- 5 Zhang H, Kang Z, Gong H. et al. Digestive system is a potential route of COVID-19: an analysis of single-cell coexpression pattern of key proteins in viral entry process. BMJ Gut 2020; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-320953.
- 6 Zhang C, Shi L, Wang FS. Liver injury in COVID-19: management and challenges. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 5 (05) 428-430
- 7 Monteleone G, Ardizzone S. Are patients with inflammatory bowel disease at increased risk for COVID-19 infection?. J Crohn’s Colitis 2020; (e-pub ahead of print) DOI: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjaa061.
- 8 Board of Governors Medical Council of India. Telemedicine Practice Guidelines. Available at https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Telemedicine.pdf. Accessed April 22, 2020
- 9 Chiu PWY, Ng SC, Inoue H. et al. Practice of endoscopy during COVID-19 pandemic: position statements of the Asian Pacific Society for Digestive Endoscopy (APSDE-COVID statements). BMJ Gut 2020; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321185.
- 10 Sultan S, Lim JK, Altayar O. et al. AGA. AGA institute rapid recommendations for gastrointestinal procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gastroenterology 2020; (e-pub ahead of print) DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.03.072.
- 11 Repici A, Maselli R, Colombo M. et al. Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: what the department of endoscopy should know. Gastrointest Endosc 2020; (e-pub ahead of print) DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2020.03.019.