1. Would symptoms differ from eating virus contaminated food versus breathing in virus?
  2. Would symptoms be a good indicator where the virus is located?
  3. The COVID-19 causes respiratory symptoms and I guess that is because people are breathing in virus droplets in their lungs. But if you would swallow COVID-19 contaminated food and avoid breathing in the virus would that cause other symptoms like stomach pain or diarrhea?

1 Answer 1


Well this is a guess because there is no published data that I am aware of in the english literature to be able to answer the question.

A small percentage of people who have presented with covid-19 pneumonia have also had diarrhoea, it is thought that the faecal-oral route is also an important mode of transmission.

If the person develops a respiratory infection the affected cells will eventually spill virus into the circulation, a condition called viraemia. This allows the virus to reach distant cells that bear the ACE2 surface receptor and these cells are also in the heart, kidneys and gut as well as monocytes. One would also expect that intestinal cells affected primarily by ingestion of virus particles would also do the same, and produce a viraemia leading to the virus spreading to the lungs, heart and kidneys. But they may present initially with diarrhoea before getting respiratory symptoms.

  • 1
    All this time I had thought that Covid-19 affected lungs only lungs and there would finish i.e. all the mess within the lungs. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 3:07
  • 3
    @America, COVID-19 affects any cell with an ACE2 receptor on the surface, which includes the intestines.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 20:16
  • @Mark so if a person has weight issues (below or above the average) is more likely to have complications if infected by Covid-19? Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 21:27

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