Restaurant dining linked to COVID-19: Among adults tested for the coronavirus at 11 U.S. healthcare facilities in July, those who were infected were about twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant in the previous 14 days, according to a U.S. study.
Otherwise, activity levels were similar in people with or without COVID-19 in other respects.
Those included shopping, social gatherings at home, going to an office, salon, or gym, using public transportation or attending religious gatherings.
“Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use,” researchers said in the report on Friday in the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“Eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” they added.
Severe COVID-19 less common in patients with GI symptoms
People with gastrointestinal symptoms related to the new coronavirus, like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, may be significantly less likely to develop severe COVID-19 and die, a new study found.
New York City doctors looked at 635 COVID-19 patients, expecting to see worse disease when the GI tract was involved.
To their surprise, patients admitted with GI symptoms had 50% lower odds of severe COVID-19 and death, compared to patients without GI symptoms, even after accounting for age, race, and underlying medical conditions.
Also unexpectedly, patients with GI involvement had lower levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood.
A subset who underwent closer inspection of their intestines had virus particles in gut tissues, but relatively little inflammation, and low activity of genes responsible for making inflammatory proteins, doctors found, according to a paper posted on medRxiv on Wednesday ahead of peer review.
When the New York doctors collaborated with Italian colleagues to study 287 COVID-19 patients in Milan, they saw the same link between GI involvement and less-severe disease, Dr. Saurabh Mehandru of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai told Reuters.