A study was undertaken by King’s College London has found, skin rashes can be the only symptom of coronavirus in some cases, as opposed to the widely circulated key symptoms – sudden and new dry cough, fever, and changes in taste and smell.
“[…]it’s important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease,” lead author of the study, Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London, said.
“Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19.”
Rash was one of the other symptoms subjects in the research had. The percentage of COVID-positive people who have rashes is in comparison to 5.4 % of them who tested negative for the virus.
Another similar result showed 8.2% of people reported having skin rashes, and these people had symptoms of the coronavirus -loss of smell, fever, cough, but did not test for the same.
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To make sure there is no loophole in the finding, researchers captured images and information of nearly 12,000 people (with emphasis on people of color) with skin rashes and either confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
In this separate online survey, 17% of people with confirmed coronavirus had skin rashes as the first symptom of the disease. Interestingly, 21% (1 in 5) COVID-positive people said the rash was their only symptom.
Public health authorities around the world identify fever, dry cough, and tiredness as the ‘most common’ symptom of COVID; aches and pain, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes as ‘less common’ symptoms, while the addition of breathing issues, pressure in chest and loss of sensation, along with the common and less common symptoms makes the ‘serious symptom of COVID-19.
In the study, the researchers have identified three types of rashes associated with COVID-19:
- Chickenpox type/ prickly heat rashes – can persist for days and weeks
- Raised bumps on the skin, soles, and palms – hive-type rashes start with intense itching
- COVID-specific reddish and purplish bumps on toes or fingers
The team behind the study has urged public health authorities to include ‘skin rashes’ as the fourth, key symptom of COVID-19.
Dr. Veronique Bataille said any new type of rash must be dealt with seriously and the person should isolate and seek immediate medical advice.
Read the full research here. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.