Going to the toilet more often and four other mild signs of COVID-19

The two main symptoms of the new coronavirus are a fever and a dry cough. But here are five other less obvious signs experts say you could miss.

Some people who have experienced the coronavirus say diarrhoea was an early sign of the disease. Picture: File imge
It may feel like we’ve known about coronavirus for a long time now - but it’s still only been around four months.

Scientists are still working to understand it, but by this stage we do know the main symptoms - a new or persistent dry cough and a fever.

But experts say there are a few other indicators that could suggest that you might have caught COVID-19. And one of them involves going to the toilet, The Sun reports.

While there is no normal amount you should need to go to the toilet every day, needing to more than usual could be an early sign of coronavirus.

Doctor 4 U GP Dr Diana Gall explained to the Express:

Digestion problems and changes in bowel habits - particularly looser stools and making more frequent trips to the toilet - are sometimes the first signs that you’re coming down with something, not just with this coronavirus.
However, diarrhoea has been reported as an early symptom in patients who have later tested positive for COVID-19.

A new study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, analysed the data of 204 patients with COVID-19 in China’s Hubei province and found nearly 50 per cent had diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

Isla Haslam, 29, from Balham in south west London, was someone who experienced stomach troubles whilst battling coronavirus.

She told The Sun Online that she initially woke up with a dodgy stomach, but thought it was from her dinner of lentils and beans the night before.

By the following day, she had developed a tickle in her throat and felt exhausted before attempting to rest at home.

She explained: 

Waking up in the middle of the night, I noticed my nose was blocked and I felt horrific. My body ached severely, I felt so heavy and was sweating with a fever.

Doctors have warned that a loss of taste or smell could be a sign of coronavirus. 

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, which represents experts in ear, nose and throat medicine, explained that an eye infection or conjunctivitis may also be another sign.

In a statement, the doctors said: 

(There’s) evidence from other countries that the entry point for the coronavirus is often in the eyes, nose and throat areas.

A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that 31.6 per cent of 38 patients with COVID-19 at a hospital in the Hubei province had eye-related symptoms - although further studies are needed on a larger scale.

A number of people who go on to have coronavirus first report losing their sense of smell or taste.
It's thought that losing the ability to smell or taste could be due to the virus destroying cells in the nose and throat.

Experts say it's something people can commonly experience after having other types of coronaviruses - such as the common cold.

Professor Carl Philpott, of the Norwich Medical School at UEA, said: 

Coronaviruses have previously been associated with what we refer to as post-viral olfactory loss– this is smell loss that persists after a cold. There are many respiratory viruses that can potentially cause problems with the smell receptors.
So far with COVID-19, the smell loss appears to be transient but only as time elapses will we know how many people have a more permanent loss.

Ryan Van Waterschoot ended up in hospital for 10 days with coronavirus, and losing his sense of smell and taste were the first few symptoms.

Just a day after losing the two senses, he went from feeling tired to not being able to move, before his temperature soared and he was rushed to hospital, where he was given oxygen for five days.

The 28-year-old said: 

I didn’t think I was going to make it out of the hospital. I thought it was the end of the road for me.

Some people may experience brain fog, also known as mental fatigue, as another symptom of coronavirus.

It's not been officially looked into as a symptom but it's another indicator that those who have had the illness have reported experiencing.

Thea Jourdan, 50, said she didn't experience a cough or fever - instead her introduction to COVID-19 began with a tickle in her throat and a dull headache,.

The mother-of-three from Hampshire said she then started to experience brain fog.

She told the Daily Mail: 

Initially I felt exhausted, as if I was dragging myself through treacle and had no choice but to go to my bed. I had no meaningful cough and I wasn’t running a fever. But I had a peculiar sensation of something settling deep within my lungs, almost like breathing in talcum powder.
I also had brain fog. I was unable even to fill out forms from the children’s schools. I just wanted to sleep.

Another woman who recently recovered from COVID-19 told the Huffington Post she experienced an unusual mental block before her symptoms worsened.

Christy, from Seattle, had a similar feeing of brain fog. She said her illness started with a multi-day fever that progressed into sinus congestion and a headache.

She added: 

It’s not just a cold. I’m pretty healthy and not old (in my 40s), and it kicked my a**.

Another symptom that coronavirus patients have reported is feeling extremely tired before symptoms develop.

According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, up to 44 per cent of those hospitalised with COVID-19 report exhaustion and fatigue.

Linda Carr, 69, from Hethersett in Norfolk, told the Mail: 

I felt very sick and terribly fatigued. But I didn’t have a temperature or a cough. Within two days I could barely stand. I didn’t have the energy to lift one foot in front of the other.

But she knew it was more serious than a flu when she developed a tightness in her chest that left her short of breath.

After visiting her GP, she was sent straight to hospital where she was kept for five days after testing positive.

Ms Carr said she was still feeling weak and remained in isolation at home.

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