Rare coronavirus symptom dubbed Covid toes is mostly seen in kids, docs discover – The Sun

A RARE new symptom of coronavirus dubbed 'Covid toes' is mainly seen in kids, doctors say.

Medics treating Covid-19 patients have reported seeing unusual cases where people have developed blisters and purple lesions on their feet.

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And now scientists have revealed that the unusual sign usually appears in patients who don’t exhibit any other symptoms, particularly children and young adults.
Dr Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, suggested that this was because they have better immune systems.

He added that 'Covid toes' in some people can disappear in the course of a week to ten days, but others progress to develop respiratory symptoms.

"This is a manifestation that occurs early on in the disease, meaning you have this first, then you progress," Dr Lautenbach told USA Today.

"Sometimes this might be your first clue that they have Covid when they don’t have any other symptoms."

Inflammatory response

Doctors believe that Covid toes is an "inflammatory" response to the virus – with some revealing that they have seen the same symptom happen in cases of viral pneumonia or a bad flu.

Dr Esther Freeman, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told NBC’s Today programme: “One hypothesis is there’s just a lot of inflammation caused by the virus."

The other theory is that it could be the result of blood vessel clots, she added.

Despite this, she emphasised that Covid toes should be tested, because they may appear with or without other symptoms.

Experts in Spain say they are investigating the symptom after seeing cases where people who had lesions on their feet "similar to chickenpox" later tested positive for Covid-19.

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The Spanish General Council of Official Podiatrist Colleges has said that it has seen “numerous cases” where coronavirus patients had lesions on their feet.

It added that it was a “curious finding” that has been witnessed by both dermatologists and podiatrists.

“They are purple lesions (very similar to those of chickenpox, measles or chilblains) which usually appear on the toes and normally heal without leaving a mark," the statement read.

The statement goes on to say: “The Podologists Council urges its colleges and its members to remain alert because this can be a sign of detection of Covid-19 to avoid infection.”

Local media report if the relation between the disease and the lesions is proven, it can serve as an early detection sign of the virus or help lead to a diagnosis in asymptomatic patients.

'Curious finding'

However, the council said: “Obviously, due to the short time we still cannot speak of scientific evidence.”

Meanwhile, the International Federation of Podologists reported one of the first cases of the symptom after the lesions appeared on the foot of a 13-year-old boy on March 8.

They were initially thought to be caused by a brown recluse spider bite but the teen later developed with Covid-19 symptoms.

After studying his family’s medical history, doctors found his sister and mother had a fever, cough and difficulty breathing six days before he first had the lesions.

The American Academy of Dermatology has also issued guidance regarding several different types of rashes that have been connected with Covid-19.

It says that symptoms may range from hives to measles-like rashes to a condition resembling frostbite.


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Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patientaccess.com, told The Sun Online: "We know that many infections are linked to a higher risk of clots inside various blood vessels.

"It’s possible these foot signs come about because of clots blocking the blood supply of small blood vessels in the feet.

"It may also be something else entirely – we don’t yet know, but you can be sure that the scientists will be looking to find out."

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