Bruises on feet 'could be sign of coronavirus', Spanish doctors claim
Nasty purplish lesions that look like chickenpox, measles or chilblains on toes and feet could be a sign of coronavirus, Spanish and Italian doctors are reporting.
Patients with the dark sores, particularly children and adolescents, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Spain, as well as in Italy and France.
Among the early reported cases was a 13 year-old boy in Italy, who had what was originally thought to have been a violin spider bite.
He went to hospital on March 8 after developing cuts to his skin that erupted before crusting over. Two days later he developed phenomena, a fever, muscle pains, headache and intense itching and burning on the foot lesions.
Because of the health catastrophe that was enveloping Italy, he was not tested for coronavirus. But by March 29, five weeks after the first Italian case of Covid-19, the first official report of lesions in children with Covid-19 symptoms appeared.
Now, one in five patients at Italian hospitals are presenting with the strange dermatological condition.
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A child dermatologist in Bari, Mazzotta Troccoli, said it has become increasingly common throughout Italy.
He wrote: ‘If further observations and laboratory data will confirm that we are facing a clinical sign of COVID-19, this dermatological sign could be useful for identifying children and adolescents with minimal forms of infection, but potential sources of further infection.’
Usually Covid-19 affects the lungs, causing a persistent cough, breathing problems and high fever. However, there are also increasing reports of diarrhoea, testicular pain and a loss of taste and smell as ‘atypical’ signs – in addition to these latest findings.
The Spanish General Council of Official Podiatrist Colleges have also raised alarm about the the possible new symptom of foot lesions/
The council, which has 7,500 professional members, has opened a database of possible Covid-19 cases and those who had the cuts and bruises on their feet.
The council wrote: ‘Numerous cases are being observed in different countries: Italy, France, Spain.
‘It is a curious finding that began to spread yesterday in the healthcare field, among dermatologists and podiatrists, fundamentally: the same symptoms are increasingly being detected in patients with Covid-19, especially children and adolescents, although some cases have also been detected in adults.
‘These are purple-colored lesions (very similar to those of chickenpox, measles or chilblains) that usually appear around the toes and that usually heal without leaving marks on the skin.
‘The Council of Podiatrists urges its Colleges and its members to be very vigilant because this may be a sign of COVID-19 detection that can help to avoid contagion.
‘The Council wants to convey a message of reassurance to parents and possible victims, given the benign nature of the lesions, and to remember that they should monitor the appearance of the other clinical symptoms characteristic of COVID-19, such as cough, fever, respiratory distress.’
The council warned anyone with sores on their feet should self-isolate as they would if they developed more typical symptoms of the novel disease.
It added: ‘When these cases are detected by parents or relatives, the child should be kept in quarantine, isolated, and a topical corticosteroid can be applied and temperature control can be carried out, always with the reassurance that these are benign lesions with favorable evolution, but acting with caution being a possible asymptomatic carrier.
‘To avoid contagion in those affected and their families, it is not recommended to go to primary care centres and hospitals only because of the appearance of these dermatological lesions.
‘Given the short time that has passed since the outbreak began there is not enough evidence to satisfy the scientific community, but The Council of Podiatrists urges its Colleges and its members to be very vigilant because this may be a sign of COVID-19 detection that can help to avoid contagion.’
Dr Randy Jacobs, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, said COVID-19 can ‘feature signs of small blood vessel occlusion’ – clotting of the blood – according to The Hospitalist.
He said: ‘Many have wondered if COVID-19 presents with any particular skin changes. The answer is yes.’.
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