The unusual coronavirus symptom babies are displaying

Jennifer Savin
·3-min read
Photo credit: NATHANAEL KIEFER - Getty Images
Photo credit: NATHANAEL KIEFER - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

The mother of a four-month-old baby named George has issued a warning to fellow parents after her little one was hospitalised for coronavirus. Myer Rudelhoff from Basildon, Essex, says that alongside one of the more well known symptoms of COVID 19 – a high temperature – her young son displayed more unusual signs of the disease. Namely, mottled skin, swollen lips and an inability to keep fluids down.

As reported by the BBC, Rudelhoff initially thought her baby had a sickness bug and put his increased temperature down to teething. "I had no idea it was caused by coronavirus," she said.

However, after George vomited on 2 January, she called 111 who advised her to take him to the nearest hospital where he quickly tested positive for COVID 19. While there, she says that nurses told her they'd also treated several other children with similarly mottled skin and sickness, and asked her to raise awareness.

"He got so poorly so quickly when we arrived and was really lethargic," Rudelhoff added. "They took a swab and, when they said he was positive, I burst into tears. It was such a shock." George's mother says she presumed it couldn't be coronavirus due to a lack of cough, although the little one did develop one later on. Thankfully, George is recovering well and is now back at home with his family.

Photo credit: Resolution Productions/Blend Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Resolution Productions/Blend Images - Getty Images

This newly reported symptom in children comes after Spanish researchers previously identified several different types of rashes in adult coronavirus patients. In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology last year, dermatologists across Spain were asked to share details of any COVID-positive patients they'd seen who had developed rashes. There were 375 cases that came back in total and the experts identified five rashes that they believe may be an indicator of the disease.

However, in this group of case studies, the rashes appeared after a coronavirus diagnosis, meaning this isn't the most reliable tool for reaching said diagnosis in the first place.

The five rashes were described as:

  • Lesions that look like chilblains around the hands and feet, which could be itchy or painful.

  • Small blister outbreaks on limbs and the main trunk of the body, which tend to be itchy.

  • Raised skin (pink or white), not dissimilar in appearance to a nettle sting. Generally on the body but sometimes on the palms of the hands, these are often itchy.

  • Maculopapules, which are small, flat and raised red bumps. The most common rash found in the study, but usually seen in patients with more severe infections.

  • Livedo (also known as necrosis), which makes the skin look blotchy red or blue, with a net-like pattern. As it's a sign of poor blood circulation, this rash is also more commonly seen in patients with more severe infections.

So while it's important to always keep on top of checking for the more widely known and officially recognised symptoms (a cough, fever, loss of sense of smell or taste), it's worth being aware of others cited by scientists too – even if they are rarer.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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