Digestive problems such as diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of appetite could be a symptom of coronavirus, a study has found.

A study of 204 patients in Wuhan, ground-zero for the COVID-19 outbreak, found 99 patients (48.5 per cent) went to hospital with digestive issues as their main ailment.

Loss of appetite (83 per cent) and diarrhoea (29 per cent) were the main symptoms for patients exhibiting digestive problems.

Other digestive issues reported include vomiting (0.8 per cent) and abdominal pain (0.4 per cent).

Most patients did also experience respiratory issues — such as a persistent dry cough or trouble breathing — as well as digestive concerns, but seven patients in the study showed only digestive symptoms.