Middlemore adds abdominal pain to Covid-19 symptoms

Middlemore Hospital has updated its list of Covid-19 symptoms after a case showed up at their emergency department, but wasn't tested for the virus until the following day.  

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Chief Medical Officer Pete Watson told 1News they’ve already begun making changes to how they check patients. Source: 1 NEWS

The man arrived at the hospital in Ōtāhuhu on Saturday with abdominal pains but they weren't tested after saying they had not been to a location of interest or in close contact with the virus.

It wasn't until his condition worsened the following day, after being moved on to the surgical ward in a room with three others, that he was given a Covid-19 test. 

Patients and staff at the hospital have been made to self-isolate and be tested for Covid-19 after coming into contact with the man. 

All have so far returned a negative result following their day three Covid test, the hospital's chief medical officer Pete Watson said.

He confirmed to 1News, Counties Manukau DHB have already begun making changes to how the hospital operates to mitigate Covid-19 risks further. 

One of those changes has been to update the list of Covid-19 symptoms that staff in the emergency department look for when patients are admitted to include abdominal pains. 

He said that abdominal pains aren't a common symptom but had been seen by some cases during the current Delta outbreak in Auckland. 

Middlemore Hospital in Ōtāhuhu, Auckland. Source: Google Maps

"What we've done now in our emergency department is include abdominal pain in our symptoms that we're checking for.

"It wasn't in our list but abdominal pain and fever seems to have become a symptom that is not common, but we've seen it a number of times now in this Delta cluster."

Abdominal pain isn't currently listed on the Ministry of Health's website as a main symptom of Covid-19 which says symptoms mirror many of those seen in common illnesses like influenza or a cold.

Those listed by the Ministry of Health are:

  • Fever (at least 38C).
  • New or worsening cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Shortness of breath. 
  • Sneezing and runny nose 
  • Temporary loss of smell and altered sense of taste

Other less common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or confusion/irritability. 

Watson added that Middlemore Hospital is "doing everything" they can to reduce future incidences where members of the public and hospital staff are unknowingly exposed to the virus.