Stomach bug could be COVID-19, expert says

COVID-19 community transmission has been high during the sixth wave, with differing symptoms and questions about treatment.

Dr. Sohail Gandhi, a Stayner physician and former president of the Ontario Medical Association, notes some symptoms to be mindful of and how to treat them.

CHANGING SYMPTOMS

Dr. Gandhi cited increased abdominal symptoms, including stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea in the sixth wave.

He says fever, aches, and body chills are still common among positive COVID-19 patients but says signs of infection have changed.

"There seems to be less in the way of losing your sense of smell. I mean, that was really quite prominent with Alpha to Delta," he says.

"I would say watch out for stomach bug symptoms as well. If you think you got the stomach flu, there's a chance it could still be COVID, and you should get tested."

LONG COVID

The physician says it appears that personal genetic makeup accounts for why some people suffer from the virus more than others.

"The main issue is that at this point, we still don't understand why it affects some people harder than others. We still, unfortunately, don't know why some people get long COVID compared to other people."

Dr. Gandhi says vaccination is still the best option to combat potentially severe outcomes.

"What we do know is regardless of whether you're at risk for long COVID or hospitalization, if you get immunized, your chance of getting either of the two are significantly lessened."

SICK AT HOME

For those dealing with symptoms of COVID-19 at home, Dr. Gandhi says, "listen to your grandmother's advice."

He recommends lots of fluids, rest and Tylenol for fever, adding, "this shall pass."

Dr. Gandhi says the sixth wave is "towards the end."

"Hospitalization numbers are dropping significantly. They never got up as high as some people were concerned about, so we are truly toward the end of the sixth wave."

However, he believes COVID-19 will be an annual virus going forward.

"It's going to be like the flu where you have this every year, and you take precautions at different points in time to deal with it," he finishes.