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The consequences of COVID-19 for gastroenterology nursing

09 April 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 7


Jennie Burch, Head of Gastrointestinal Nurse Education, St Mark's Hospital, London (, discusses the ramifications of coronavirus and the guidelines available to professionals working in gastroenterology

There is much in the media about the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) and its resulting disease, COVID-19. This virus is affecting how we are able to function in our personal as well as our professional lives—and is particularly concerning for our patients.

The World Health Organization confirmed the coronavirus outbreak was a pandemic in mid-March 2020 (BBC News, 2020).

The virus is predominantly related to lung disease, but there are ramifications for people working in the field of gastroenterology nursing.

The disease, although predominantly presenting with a cough and a fever, is not consistent in all patients. There are some reports from across the globe that gastrointestinal symptoms may also occur.

In Singapore, some patients with COVID-19 also had diarrhoea and abnormal liver function tests, but there may be confounding and multifactorial explanations for this (Ong et al, 2020).

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