Every day, doctors are discovering new symptoms of COVID-19. In addition to those widely reported—fever, shortness of breath, etc—some patients are feeling things considered atypical for now. Here’s a list of what doctors are seeing firsthand. Share it with your friends and family to keep them their healthiest.
“This is an unusual symptom that looks different on everyone with COVID-19,” says Dr. Christine Traxler. “Some will have hives, others will have rashes from tiny broken blood vessels in the feet, and others will have symptoms that look a lot like chickenpox.”
“These rashes are thought to be due to the body’s immune response to the inflammation caused by the virus,” says Dr. Monique May. “Rashes can be seen on the chest or torso or on the extremities such as the legs, fingers, and toes.”
“Diminished sense of smell and taste, respectively, are interesting manifestations of COVID-19,” says Dr. Lili Barsky. “While anosmia and dysgeusia can be observed with other upper respiratory viral infections due to nasal congestion, the interesting thing about COVID-19 is that they can actually be the first and only symptoms of the condition.”
“Dizziness and/or altered mental status that is not otherwise explained is another possible manifestation that has become increasingly recognized, particularly for the elderly,” says Dr. Barsky.
“COVID has also been reported to cause other neurological symptoms such as severe headaches, loss of consciousness and paresthesia, a burning or prickling sensation in the hands and feet,” says Dr. Leann Poston.
“Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea are becoming more commonly recognized,” says Dr. Barsky. “While many seem to present with the cardinal fever and respiratory symptoms, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms can be another way the virus presents. The virus has also been isolated in stool.”
“Changes in the way blood clots have been described in COVID,” says Dr. Poston. “COVID may damage the inside lining of blood vessels, which may explain why people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease have higher morbidity.”
“Heart symptoms such as heart attack and heart arrhythmias are seen in patients with severe COVID symptoms,” says Dr. Poston.
“Covid toes, which is a condition where the toes can turn purple or red and be tender or painful, is thought to be due to inflammation or blood clots in the small blood vessels,” says Dr. May. “These tend to be in children and young people and fortunately resolve on their own in a few weeks.”
“Inflammation in the lining of blood vessels occurs,” says Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, family and emergency doctor. “Leading to blood clots which dislodge to the brain, causing a stroke.”
“This involves a blood clot to a larger artery that affects the deep veins of the legs, the arteries going to the heart, or the arteries that go to the brain,” says Dr. Traxler. “This leads to strokes or heart attacks as potential atypical findings in COVID-19 patients, particularly those who are otherwise young.”
“This is sometimes seen in younger patients who start improving but then have a sudden worsening of lung function and death from acute respiratory failure within a few hours,” says Dr. Traxler. “Sudden collapse of the body’s major organs and shock in young people could be due to what doctors call a cytokine storm. The cytokine storm is a release of immune molecules as part of an overwhelming and overactive immune response that causes death to the patient from the effect of this immune reaction rather than from the infection itself.”
This one has been a bit more widely reported: “As an ophthalmologist, I have seen COVID-conjunctivitis several times while on call for hospital,” says Dr. Yuna Rapoport. “These symptoms are similar to regular “pink eye”—itchy, watery, red eyes, sometimes with clear discharge and sometimes with mucus discharge.”
And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 40 Things You Should Never Touch Due to Coronavirus.