Coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in 2020, quickly becoming one of the most damaging viruses of the 21st century. People have adjusted to the realities of the disease, including frequent public health messages and lockdown measures. Experts, however, live in an uncertain situation as they work to further scientific understanding.
Will experts add a new coronavirus symptom to the list?
The effects of coronavirus are well known to most, and include the following symptoms:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
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The last symptom was added recently after several reports from people who tested positive for the disease.
Now, experts believe they have discovered a new symptom of coronavirus which may surface even without the others.
Research from King’s College London found three types of rash may owe their presence to COVID-19.
Scientists have now called on officials to add them to the current symptom roster.
Although not yet peer-reviewed, the study of 336,000 people found 8.8 percent of people who tested positive for the disease displayed some form of rash.
Another 8.2 percent of people who reported symptoms without a positive result also had the rash.
Further research from an online survey pinpointed 12,000 more people with rashes and suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The study concluded there were three types of rash associated with coronavirus.
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The first is urticaria, defined by sudden raised bumps which come and go and intense itching on the palms and soles.
Prickly heat, a chickenpox type rash, presents as areas of itchy red bumps which form commonly on the elbows or knees but may materialise anywhere.
The final type, chilblains, erupts as painful purple or reddish bumps on the fingers and toes which may become itchy.
Many of these rashes will present early on in the disease’s course and may persist for days afterwards.
Lead author Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London, said a rash may be the only symptom of COVID-19 in some cases.
She said: “Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19.
“However, it’s important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease.
“So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”
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