Ask Dr. Nandi: Warmer Weather, Gastrointestinal Issues & COVID-19

Posted at 5:58 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 07:56:02-04

(WXYZ) — There’s a lot that still needs to be learned about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. For example, should we expect to see the virus fade as the temperatures get warmer?

When we think about common upper respiratory infections like the flu and colds, we know that these illnesses hit harder in the winter, and the risk goes away when spring and summer arrive. That’s because the increased sunlight does two things – it boosts your natural Vitamin D levels, which in turn boosts your immune system … and the UV rays help kill the flu and cold viruses.

But unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case with COVID-19. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences says the virus has spread rapidly in countries that are currently experiencing summer temperatures, like Iran and Australia.

Plus, a new study out of China supports that idea. It found that the transmission of the coronavirus did not seem to change in cities where the temperatures and humidity were higher.

Now, there have been experimental laboratory studies that show higher temperatures and humidity levels may reduce the survival of the COVID-19 virus. But there are many other factors at play when we talk about person-to-person spread of the virus. And scientists agree that more long-term studies are needed.

So, the bottom line: It’s premature to think that warmer weather will control COVID-19. Until a vaccine and treatment are developed, social distancing remains one of the most effective ways to reduce the coronavirus transmission.

We’re learning that gastrointestinal problems are occurring in some people with COVID-19. Researchers in China found that 18% of patients experienced digestive issues. These were typically mild cases of COVID and in some cases, those were the only symptoms they had. These patients sought medical care much later than those who had the more typical symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

This is vital information, because it means people who have a sudden onset of digestive problems, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting should speak with their doctor to decide if they should get tested or self quarantine.

However, it is important to note that just because you have digestive issues, it doesn’t mean that you have the coronavirus. However, your health professional may consider testing if you’ve had contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Tune in this Sunday for an all-new Dr. Nandi Show all about "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments"! Dr. Partha Nandi, MD talks with various practitioners who use natural remedies to cure common ailments. Dr. Mary Clifton is a proponent of the many uses of CBD oil while Tisheama Williams owns and operates a natural healing store. Carly Stein tells us how she harnesses the power of bees to heal. And Dr. Kierra Barr discusses the importance of treating the skin naturally. Plus, Beth Greer helps us discover how to remove hidden dangers from the home. Watch this Sunday, April 12th at 1 pm

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View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.