Food poisoning or COVID-19?

  • 2
Today’s my birthday and my mom began coughing and vomiting. She claims it’s food poisoning and refuses to go to the doctor, I’m very afraid that something will happen to her.

2 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Although COVID-19 mostly causes cough and respiratory symptoms, it could also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is difficult to tell whether it is food poisoning or COVID-19 based only on symptoms.

1. If other family members also develop the symptoms after eating something, then it is more likely to be food poisoning.

2. Food poisoning generally goes away on its own within a few days to a week. If the symptoms persist, then it is unlikely to be food poisoning.

If your mom's condition does not improve within a week, she needs to go to the hospital.
How long has the symptom of vomiting been present? Did your mom contact others with symptoms of cough? Food poisoning infrequently causes cough. Given the pandemic of COVID-19, COVID-19 can not be excluded definitively in your mom's case. Luckily, most cases of COVID-19 are mild and home isolation is enough. However, for the elderly the risk of severe COVID-19 should not be dismissed. It is always reassuring to get a test for COVID-19, isn't it?