More people around the world have been tested for the new coronavirus and found to have COVID-19. As a result, doctors and other health care workers are reporting new COVID-19 symptoms.
The most common symptoms are a high temperature (or fever), a dry cough and shortness of breath. However, less common symptoms also are being reported. These include a loss of smell, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swelling and skin problems.
1. COVID-19 in children
The Associated Press (AP) reports that children are the latest group to be affected with new symptoms.
Health care workers say some children who have tested positive for the coronavirus are having abdominal pain and swelling. However, they do not have the more common breathing problems that affect older adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States says Kawasaki disease usually affects children age five and younger. The symptoms include: fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, irritation and redness of the whites of the eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips, and throat.
2. Skin conditions
In one report, doctors looked at 88 COVID-19 patients in an Italian hospital. Italy has one of the highest numbers of infected people. They found that one in five patients had some kind of skin problem. These symptoms were mostly red rashes over the area of the body between the neck and the waist.
In another report, Spanish doctors reported that 375 confirmed virus patients had skin problems. These included different kinds of rashes and swollen toes.
A dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital explained to the Associated Press that viruses often affect the skin. Dr. Esther Freeman said seeing skin rashes become a symptom of COVID-19 did not surprise her.
However, one probable symptom did: COVID toes.
3. “COVID toes”
“COVID toes” are red, painful and sometimes itchy, swollen areas on the toes. Doctors say the condition looks like tissue problems on the feet of people who have spent a long time outdoors in the cold.
It is still not clear when COVID toes might appear in coronavirus-infected patients. For some people, it is the first or even the only symptom they notice. Others see the toe problem at the same time or even a few weeks after experiencing more common and serious COVID-19 symptoms.
Another dermatologist said that COVID toes are showing up in young people too. Amy Paller is a children’s dermatologist at Northwestern University. She is collecting pictures of patients’ toes to learn more about the possible condition.
Whatever a person’s symptoms might be, doctors remind us of this warning: People can carry and spread the virus without experiencing any symptoms.