I've read a lot of stories about the novel coronavirus -- some for work and some for my own benefit.
The list of potential symptoms is long, and I've almost memorized them. They include fever or chills, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat and nausea.
Some people who test positive for COVID-19 have all the symptoms, some have none of the symptoms and some have a random combination.
Despite my careful reading, I'd failed to notice one particular symptom: diarrhea.
During my husband's almost four-week bout with coronavirus, the relentless diarrhea seemed to deepen his fatigue. And it certainly didn't help his spirits. On the 10th consecutive day, he mentioned he was tired of dealing with it.
While he took a nap, I went online to Mayo Clinic's website and checked just how long an adult can have diarrhea before it's time to consult a medical professional. The website said two days. My husband had already suffered more than one week beyond that recommendation.
It was the weekend, so I called the nurse hotline offered by our health insurance to find out what we should do. After asking numerous questions about his symptoms, the nurse said my husband should go to the emergency room.
At the ER, the staff did blood tests and gave him an IV. He'd been drinking water almost constantly, so he wasn't dehydrated. His blood test results were solid, so he was released to return home for more recuperation.
While we were there, a doctor and a nurse both mentioned that diarrhea has been a common complaint of the many, many patients they've seen.
So why haven't we heard more about it?