By MARY KEKATOS SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
UNITED Kingdom — Doctors say they are being overwhelmed by calls from people whose only sign of the novel coronavirus is bruising and lesions on the feet.
The mysterious symptom is called ‘COVID toes’ and they’ve primarily been spotted in children and teenagers.
Even more surprising, it’s been in the absence of other traditional symptoms such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
Despite the rising number of cases across the US and the world, rashes are not included on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official list of symptoms.
Dr Lindy Fox, a dermatologist with the University of California San Francisco, told Fox 5 NY that she’s seen ‘many, many people’ with COVID toes.
‘Almost too many to count,’ she told the local news station.
‘Dermatologists are being inundated with calls from people saying: “What are these purple changes on my toes and fingers?”‘
Pink and purple toes were first spotted among infected people in Europe, primarily Spain, Italy and France.
Some health experts say it may be a sign of how widespread and fast-spreading the disease is.
‘It’s becoming a sign that COVID-19 may be more prevalent in our society than we actually realized,’ Dr Fox, a member of the COVID-19 task force for the American Academy of Dermatology, told Fox 5 NY.
So why are people developing rash and discoloration on their feet?
Doctors say that it’s actually common for people to develop rashes when they’re battling infections, especially viral respiratory infections like COVID-19.
It’s unclear what causes the skin reaction but it could be several reasons including tiny clots in the toes’ blood vessels or a response to antibiotics.
‘It’s not uncommon for someone to have a viral infection and have a rash or blotchy areas on their body,’ pulmonologist Dr Humberto Choi, of the Cleveland Clinic, said in a blog post.
Because there are so many different types of rashes patients can get, there is no pattern that has been linked to COVID-19.
Doctors say that COVID toes generally clear up on their own in about a week with no long-term damage to the skin.
However, if you experience a foot rash spontaneously with no other symptoms, immediately contact your primary care physician.
In the US, there are more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 69,000 deaths. (ia/MailOnline)