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Four strange COVID symptoms you might not have heard about

Creator : Vassilios Vassiliou, Professor of Cardiac Medication, College of East Anglia

Properly over two years into the pandemic, lots of of 1000’s of COVID instances proceed to be recorded around the globe day by day.

With the rise of latest variants, the signs of COVID have additionally developed. Initially, the NHS regarded a fever, cough, and loss or change in sense of odor or style as the principle signs which may point out COVID an infection. Now, not too long ago up to date NHS steerage suggests additionally searching for signs together with a sore throat, blocked or runny nostril, and a headache.

However what about among the extra obscure indicators and signs? From pores and skin lesions to listening to loss, rising knowledge is more and more displaying us that COVID signs can transcend what you may count on from an everyday chilly or a flu.

Learn extra:
What are the signs of omicron?

1. Pores and skin lesions

COVID-related pores and skin complaints are usually not unusual. The truth is, a UK research printed in 2021 discovered that one in 5 sufferers solely exhibited a rash and no different symptom.

COVID can have an effect on the pores and skin in a wide range of methods. Some folks might expertise a widespread maculopapular rash (flat or raised areas of discoloured pores and skin), whereas others may current with hives (raised areas of itchy pores and skin).

COVID toes”, in the meantime, describes purple, swollen or blistering pores and skin lesions on the toes. This symptom is extra generally seen in adolescents or younger adults with delicate or no signs.

Most COVID pores and skin lesions are likely to go away after a number of days, or in some cases a number of weeks, with out the necessity for any specialised remedy. If the pores and skin could be very itchy or painful although, you may seek the advice of a GP or dermatologist, who might suggest remedy resembling a cream.

COVID toes.
‘COVID toes’ are characterised by purple, swollen or blistering pores and skin lesions.
Ternavskaia Olga Alibec/Shutterstock

2. COVID nails

Throughout an an infection, together with that of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19), our our bodies naturally attempt to specific that they’re underneath an uncommon quantity of stress. They’ll do that in a wide range of bizarre methods, together with by our nails. “COVID nails” encompasses adjustments resembling:

  • Beau’s traces – horizontal indentations that happen on the base of the fingernails or toenails when there’s a short lived interruption in nail development as a result of a bodily stress on the physique

  • Mees’ traces – horizontal white traces that seem on the nails, regarded as attributable to the irregular manufacturing of proteins within the nail mattress

  • a purple half-moon sample which develops on the base of the fingernails (the mechanism underlying this modification is unclear).

The information on how many individuals expertise COVID nails is proscribed, but it surely’s been estimated it might be as much as 1-2% of COVID sufferers.

COVID nails have a tendency to look within the days or perhaps weeks following COVID an infection because the nails develop. Though they is likely to be painful initially, the overwhelming majority are likely to return to regular over a number of weeks.

Notably, whereas these adjustments could also be indicative of COVID, they will also be attributable to various things. For instance, Beau’s traces could be secondary to chemotherapy or one other an infection.

3. Hair loss

Hair loss is probably an understated symptom of COVID-19, often occurring one month or extra after the acute an infection. In a single research of virtually 6,000 individuals who had beforehand had COVID, hair loss was the most typical post-COVID symptom, reported by 48% of members. It was particularly prevalent amongst individuals who had extreme COVID and white girls.

It’s thought that this outcomes from the hair “sensing” the stress within the physique, resulting in extra shedding. Certainly, hair loss will also be triggered by different hectic occasions, resembling childbirth. The excellent news is that with time the hair grows again to regular.

4. Listening to loss and tinnitus

As with different viral infections, such because the flu and measles, COVID has been discovered to have an effect on the cells within the internal ear, with listening to loss or tinnitus (a relentless ringing sensation within the ear) generally following an infection.

In a evaluation research that included 560 members, listening to loss occurred in 3.1% of sufferers with COVID, whereas tinnitus occurred in 4.5%.

A man touches his ear, indicating pain.
COVID has been related to listening to loss and tinnitus.

In one research of 30 individuals who had been recognized with COVID, and 30 who hadn’t – none with pre-existing listening to issues – the researchers discovered that COVID was related to injury to the internal ear which led to listening to impairment at greater frequencies. Whereas for the overwhelming majority of sufferers this resolves by itself, instances of everlasting listening to loss linked to COVID have been reported.

Why all these signs?

We don’t perceive precisely what causes these signs, however we all know an important half is performed by a course of referred to as irritation. Irritation is our physique’s pure defence mechanism towards pathogens; SARS-CoV-2 on this case. It includes the manufacturing of “cytokines” – proteins that are vital in controlling the exercise of immune cells.

Extreme manufacturing of those proteins, as part of the irritation triggered by COVID an infection, may cause sensory deficits, which doubtlessly clarify why some individuals are presenting with listening to loss and tinnitus. It will probably additionally disrupt the capillary networks, very tiny blood vessels which offer blood to organs together with the ears, pores and skin and nails.

Learn extra:
4 COVID-related pores and skin complaints everybody ought to look out for

The signs we’ve described right here are usually not unique to COVID an infection. That mentioned, should you discover any of those signs, it might be acceptable to think about a COVID check, particularly should you’re in an space the place COVID is circulating.

You can too contact your GP, notably if the signs are getting worse or inflicting you important discomfort. On the identical time, you could be reassured that almost all of those signs are doubtless to enhance with time.


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