Are diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms of coronavirus?

Researchers believe they have found new symptoms of Covid-19 (Picture: Getty)

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, meaning that symptoms tend to come in the form of coughing and a temperature above 37.8C.

However, when a loss of smell and taste were added to the official list of Covid-19 symptoms back in May, many began to wonder what other non-respiratory symptoms could be a sign of the virus.

Is it possible that gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite, or vomiting could be signs of Covid-19?

Here’s what you need to know.

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Are diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms of coronavirus?

Diarrhoea and vomiting are not currently on the NHS list of symptoms, but some researchers are calling for this to be changed.

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have released a study that shows an upset stomach could be a symptom of the virus in children.

Upset tummies could be a sign of coronavirus (Picture: Getty)

Dr Tom Waterfield, the first author of the study, said: ‘In our group, diarrhoea and vomiting were more predictive than, say, cough or even changes in smell and taste.

‘If you want to actually diagnose infection in children, we need to start looking at diarrhoea and vomiting, not just upper respiratory tract symptoms.’

Waterfield estimates that adding gastrointestinal symptoms to the NHS Covid-19 checklist would mean that 97% of coronavirus cases in symptomatic children would be identified.

Researchers at King’s College London have said that the results found at Queen’s University Belfast are conclusive with their own study, based on data from the Covid symptom study app.

Professor Tim Spector said: ‘We are also seeing gut symptoms and loss of appetite appear commonly as well as the classical fever.’

Prof Spector said that although diarrhoea and vomiting are symptoms more commonly found in children, they could also be signs of Covid-19 for adults too.

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What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it is recommended that you self-isolate immediately, and do a coronavirus test.

You may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, head aches, muscle aches, a runny nose, and a sore throat.

Diarrhoea and vomiting aren’t currently recognised as symptoms of coronavirus, so you do not need to self-isolate if you experience them.

MORE: Dr Hilary Jones warns nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can be symptoms of coronavirus in children

MORE: Most people with coronavirus have no symptoms when they take a test

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