A RED rash could be another symptom of the coronavirus, experts warned.
Data from Italy suggests that up to one in five people hospitalized for the killer virus may develop rashes or unexplained marks on their skin.
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A rash may be the first – or only – sign of Covid-19 in some cases.
The NHS lists the main symptoms of the coronavirus such as persistent dry cough and fever.
It is estimated that up to eight in 10 people with the virus have only mild symptoms or no symptoms of the disease.
The other symptoms people have reported are taste and odor loss and digestive issues.
Now there are a growing number of reports of coronavirus patients who have developed rashes, and experts are trying to determine if it is caused by the virus.
An NHS consultant dermatologist said, “I have seen quite a few patients who do not normally have eczema or allergies and who have a sudden and strange rash.
“Then, maybe two or three days later, they developed symptoms typical of Covid-19. For some patients, we think a rash may be the only symptom they get.
“The public should look for this and other possible symptoms in their household members. “
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At Lecco Hospital in Lombardy, one of the hardest hit regions in the world, 20% of the 88 infected patients have had skin changes.
Their study found that none of them had taken any drugs that could have caused the reaction.
Eight of the 18 patients who have noticed skin changes do so as one of their first symptoms.
Doctors have also reported red spots on the toes and fingers that can be caused by cold temperatures – called frostbite.
Professor Hywel Williams, co-director of the Center for Evidence-Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham: “The skin is the largest organ in the body – and it is visible.
“So if you are feeling very sick and your lungs are sick, it is not surprising that the skin reacts in some way in about a fifth of the cases. “
It is common for viruses to cause skin rashes, but what is unusual in patients with coronavirus is that they seem to vary in appearance.
Scientists do not understand why the rashes occur, but it is thought to be a side effect of the body trying to control the virus.
Dalia Dawoud, 46, of London, noticed a red rash on her body five days after her husband, 51, started showing symptoms of coronavirus.
The rash looked like chickenpox, but with smaller, less itchy pimples.
She got the virus after her husband, an A&E consultant, tested positive – so the diagnosis was not really a surprise.
However, the rash was unexpected.
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Dalia, a science advisor, said, “I had none of the flu-like symptoms. This rash was the first thing to appear. “
Dr. Bataille stressed that a rash need not be of concern, especially if a patient has reacted the same way in the past.
However, any new rash in adults or children should be discussed with a general practitioner.
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