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Rashes, headaches, tingling: the less common coronavirus symptoms that patients have

Posted by: Vashishtha On 5/6/2020
The World Health Organization lists the most common symptoms of Covid-19 as fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Others include a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, pain, diarrhoea and the loss of sense of taste and/or smell. But there are also other more unusual symptoms that patients have presented.

Covid toe’
Patients in several countries have reported rashes on their toes, resembling chilblains, in many cases unaccompanied by any of the usual symptoms of the virus. The condition has been dubbed “Covid toe”. The rashes can take the form of red or purple lesions and, despite the name, can be found on the side or sole of the foot, or even on hands and fingers. The European Journal of Pedeatric Dermatology reported an “epidemic” of cases among children and adolescents in Italy. It said that unlike other rashes associated with coronavirus, it had not been previously observed.

Conjunctivitis/pink eye
Conjunctivitis has been a rare symptom in cases of Covid-19, with viral particles being found in tears. In the UK, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and College of Optometrists says: “It is recognised that any upper respiratory tract infection may result in viral conjunctivitis as a secondary complication, and this is also the case with Covid-19. However, it is unlikely that a person would present with viral conjunctivitis secondary to Covid-19 without other symptoms of fever or a continuous cough as conjunctivitis seems to be a late feature where is has occurred.”

Livedo or necrosis
A peer-reviewed Spanish study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology last week, found that 6% of the 375 coronavirus cases examined involved livedo, the death of body tissue due to a lack of blood supply, or livedo, discolouration of the skin. The skin can become mottled and have purple or red patchy areas, which may appear in a lace-like pattern. In the study, it was generally found in older patients with more severe cases of Covid-19. However, this was not consistent across the board and necrosis was also found in some people with coronavirus who did not require hospitalisation.

Dizziness/headaches
A study of 214 patients in China, published in Jama Neurology last month, found that just over a third (36.4%) had experienced neurological symptoms such as dizziness or headaches, increasing to 45.5% in those with severe coronavirus infections. Commenting on the research, Prof Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, said: “It happens, but is generally not what coronaviruses do. At the moment neurological complications might best be considered a consequence of Covid-19 disease severity rather than a distinct new concern.”

Tingling/fizzing sensation
Some patients have complained about a tingling, fizzing or even burning sensation. Dr Waleed Javaid, the director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, told Today.com it was likely the patient’s immune response to Covid-19 – rather than the virus itself – was causing such sensations. He said: “There’s a widespread immune response that is happening. Our immune cells get activated so a lot of chemicals get released throughout our body and that can present or feel like there’s some fizzing. When our immune response is acting up, people can feel different sensations … I have heard of similar experiences in the past with other illnesses.”

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