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Potential fixes for COVID-related GI issues

Most of us are familiar with COVID-19’s hallmark symptoms of a loss of taste or smell and difficulty breathing, but a full 60 percent of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 also report gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Infection of the gut, which expresses high levels of the ACE2 receptor protein that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter cells, is correlated with more severe cases of COVID-19, but the exact interactions between the virus and intestinal tissue is difficult to study in human patients. Animal models, while useful, do not fully reflect how human organs react to infection by pathogens.