Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Gastrointestinal Disease


A fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath are primary signs COVID-19 disease. But early research suggests that another common symptom may be often overlooked: stomach upset.

COVID-19 mainly attacks the cells lining your airways. This makes it hard for you to breathe and can lead to pneumonia. But researchers think the illness also may harm your digestive tract and liver tissue. The study in China found that a third of the people with mild COVID-19 had diarrhea which lasted for an average of 5 days. Data also suggests that it took them longer to clear the virus from their bodies, compared to those without gastrointestinal symptoms.

What Should I Do?

If you have diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, it doesn’t mean that you have COVID-19. But it’s wise to pay attention to your symptoms during this unprecedented health crisis and pandemic, especially if you have a health condition that raises your chances for an infection or if you live in an area where the new virus is widespread. We will suggest some ways to help yourself under such conditions.

Stay ah home

Avoid going out unless it is must for you. Most of the people that got infected, get mildly sick and get better without major treatment.

Have a separate bedroom and bathroom

If you can, use a separate bathroom for yourself if you live with others to prevent spreading illness through your poop.

Frequently wash your hands

We all know about this hygiene especially since 3-4 months. Washing hands with soap and water for atleast 20 seconds is the best option. Next is use hand sanitizer with alcohol as recommended by WHO.

Clean and disinfect your surrounding surfaces

This includes the toilet seat and flush handle, bathroom doorknobs, phones, counters, and other things you touch often.

Eat balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids

Try foods like bananas, white rice, applesauce, and toast, which can help limit your urge to poop and replenish carbohydrates that your body needs. If you have diarrhea or are vomiting, it’s important to replace the lost fluids.

READ ALSO: Your Gastrointestinal System May Be a Victim of COVID-19 Stress

When to consult your doctor

If your stomach troubles or abdominal pain are due to a GI bug or food poisoning, you usually should feel better within 48 hours. If you don’t, call your doctor. It could be a more serious bacterial infection or an early sign of COVID-19.

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