13 Early Symptoms of COVID-19

The novel coronavirus pandemic has everyone in the world worried about their health. With most Americans required to stay at home, and most watching the news nonstop, almost everyone is feeling like they have coronavirus symptoms. With flu in season and colds and seasonal allergies in the mix, it can be hard to tell which type of illness you are experiencing.

A new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reveals that almost half of COVID-19 patients first show a very different symptom: digestive issues like diarrhea.

A study by the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group looked at 204 patients. 48.5% said their main complaint was digestive symptoms: diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and vomiting. Of those with these symptoms, 84% had loss of appetite, 29% diarrhea, 0.8% vomiting and 0.4% had abdominal pain.

Respiratory problems are the most common symptoms experienced with the novel coronavirus, including difficulty breathing and coughing, but 3% of patient had digestive systems and no respiratory symptoms.

“Clinicians must bear in mind that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, maybe a presenting feature of COVID-19,” the investigators with the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19 wrote in their study. “The index suspicion may need to be raised earlier in these cases rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge.” Here are 12 additional symptoms of the novel coronavirus:

12. Flu-Like Symptoms


Most people’s coronavirus symptoms feel like the cold or flu. This is the reason it spreads so quickly, as there may not be any special signs that you are infected.


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