Worrying new Covid-19 symptom could become the fourth added to official NHS list
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After looking at data from the COVID Symptom Study app with around 336,000 regular UK users, King’s College London discovered that 9 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms.
According to the data, rashes may appear before, during or after the presence of other Covid symptoms and sometimes many weeks later.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said: “We have asked the government to add a new skin rash to the official NHS list of signs and symptoms of Covid-19 as it will reduce infections and save lives.”
The university team found that skin rashes and ‘Covid fingers and toes’ can occur in the absence of any other symptoms and therefore should be considered as ‘key diagnostic signs of the virus’.
Study author, Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London, said: “Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in Covid-19.
“However, it is important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease. So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”
The World health organisation previously made people aware of the rash symptom, and it has been listed among the other symptoms for months.
The official list in the UK includes a fever, a continuous cough, and a change to the sense of taste or smell, but it is thought that this skin rash symptom will be added by the government.
Dr Tanya Bleiker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “Documenting the skin symptoms associated with Covid-19 is an important piece of the puzzle in building our understanding of the disease. Skin symptoms may play a crucial role in detecting infection in people who are otherwise asymptomatic.”
For information about Covid-19 rashes, visit covidskinsigns.com/