Researchers call to make rashes a coronavirus symptom

Olivia Petter
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Researchers are calling for skin rashes to be added to the NHS’s official list of symptoms for Covid-19 after a study revealed that one in 11 coronavirus patients developed a rash.

The study, conducted by King’s College London, was conducted using data on 20,000 Britons who either tested positive for Covid-19 or were suspected to have had the virus.

The team also used data from the Covid Symptom Study app, which contained information on 336,837 users who had self-reported their symptoms.

The study found 2,021 of the app’s users tested positive for Covid-19, with 8.8 per cent of them reporting blotchy and itchy skin.

Additionally, out of 17,000 people who were strongly suspected to have had the virus, 8.2 per cent reported a rash.

The study has not been peer-reviewed yet and was led by Dr Mario Falchi, who is now urging for rashes to be officially recognised as a symptom in light of his findings.

“Although it is less prevalent than fever, it is more specific of Covid-19 and lasts longer,” Dr Falchi writes in the study.

He added that an “increased awareness” regarding how coronavirus can cause skin changes “will allow more efficient identification of new and earlier clusters of the disease”.

Initially, the only two symptoms for Covid-19 listed on the NHS’s website were a dry cough and a fever.

However, on 18 May, loss of smell and taste have since been added.

The additional symptoms were added a few weeks after experts first raised concerns that Covid-19 cases could be being missed as a result of them not being officially recognised.

In March, the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT UK) published a statement outlining that the symptoms had been found among “a number of patients” in the “absence of other symptoms”.

Professor Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, and Professor Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK, said in the joint statement that there had been a sudden rise “in cases of isolated anosmia” — total or partial smell loss — in the UK, US, France and northern Italy.

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