So far, there’s no set list of symptoms reviewed by health bodies around the world. However, people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus variant from southern Africa are self-reporting symptoms on the ZOE COVID Study app. Dr Nighat describes how to spot one of the warning signs in children.
Dr Nighat’s patients weren’t the only ones who suffered from rash linked to Covid, as the COVID ZOE app received thousands of self-reports of this symptom.
Dr Nighat said: “In September 2021 from the ZOE app, we realised from 12,000 people who were self-reporting symptoms in children.
“We were getting signs of what’s known as Covid fingers and toes.
“You get these purplish bumps on toes and fingers which last after the virus actually gets better, after the 10-day period.”
The doctor described this type of rash as a “chilblain-type” symptom.
The Mayo Clinic describes chilblains as a “painful” inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin which can lead to itching, swelling, blistering and red patches.
However, Dr Nighat added: “Before everyone gets really scared about this, it’s not scary.”
The ZOE app further reports that Covid fingers and toes should be considered as one of the key signs that might be present where other coronavirus symptoms are lacking.
In fact, the health science company ZOE in partnership with King’s College London collected data of more than 300,000 users, pointing to skin rash being reported as one of the “first” Covid symptoms in 17 percent of the participants.
They divided this rash symptom into three main categories:
- Hive-type rash (sudden raised bumps on the skin which come and go “quite quickly”)
- Prickly heat or chickenpox-type rash (small, itchy red bumps that can occur anywhere on the body)
- Covid fingers and toes (reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers or toes).
The last category, as the morning show’s doctor reported, is more typical in younger people.
Skin rash isn’t the only symptom linked to the new Covid variant named after a Greek letter.
Other patients positive for the Omicron virus have also reported three other symptoms on the ZOE app.
Dr Nighat said: “The early symptoms we are seeing mostly reported on the ZOE app… [are] mild symptoms of a scratchy throat, fatigue, headaches.
“And we have seen that in the Delta variant as well in the early stages.”
Dr Nighat concluded: “We obviously need more people to self-report the symptoms.”