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September 8, 2020, 10.08 PM

"Stool specimens are more convenient, safe and non-invasive to collect in the pediatric population and can give accurate results," Chan said in the CUHK press release.

This makes stool tests "a better option for Covid-19 screening in babies, young children and those whose respiratory samples are difficult to collect”.

Researchers also investigated the stool samples of 15 Covid-19 patients in Hong Kong between February and April and found active gut viral infections in seven of them even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms.

Three patients continued to display active viral infection up to six days after clearance of the virus from their respiratory samples.

Read also: Hong Kong’s Dine-in Ban Revoked After One Day

The finding highlights the threat of potential fecal-oral viral transmissions, the researchers said.

They also said there was more than one coronavirus patient in Hong Kong who had a positive stool test, while respiratory tests were negative, which could mean stool tests were "more effective" for screening specific groups of people.

The study was published in the international medical journal GUT.

(Writers: Twinnie Siu, Marius Zaharia | Editor: Christian Schmollinger)


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