Coronavirus: purple toe, hair loss… these new telltales to keep an eye on

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 5 November 2020 at 12h20 · Updated on 6 November 2020 at 12h56
Even tough fever, cough and even loss of smell and taste are part of the main symptoms already known of coronavirus, others – much odder – have been discovered. From purple toe to hair loss, via persisting hiccups or even loss of hearing… Here are the new Covid-19 symptoms highlighted by some scientists.

Coronavirus is far from having yielded all its secrets. As many searchers are trying to find a vaccine or a cure against Covid-19, others are taking a closer look to symptoms found in some patients.

Several of them are known and now officially part of the onset symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, aches, or even breathing difficulties. Other symptoms have bene found later on but are now telltales of Covid-19 in certain sick such as the loss of taste and smell.

But that is not all since new symptoms – four to be exact – have been discovered, starting with the “blue toe” or “purple toe”. Underlined by an American study, “it seems there is a certain sub-group of patients that, when they get COVID, they develop inflammation in their toes, which turns them red, and swollen, and then they eventually turn purple”, dermatologist and author of the study released in The Independent Esther Freeman said.

Skin issues that have been already highlighted by some doctors this past Spring. But this symptom seems to be taken seriously more and more. And for good reason, between April and August 2020, about a thousand dermatological issues caused by Coronavirus have been reported in 39 countries around the globe. In these 1,000 patients, about 60% of them have had the blue toe symptom, called “Covid-toe”. According to dermatologists, this side effect is “relatively mild” and “can disappear on their own within two weeks”.

Another coronavirus symptom recently discovered? Loss of hearing. Even though it is very rare, the sudden and permanent loss of hearing related to Covid-19 has been noticed in a British patient. This is what has been reported by doctors in BMJ Case Reports, naming “The first case mentioning sensorineural hearing loss in a SARS-CoV-2 positive patient was [in Thailand] in April 2020”.

Hair loss is also said to be one of the coronavirus symptoms in some patients, as said by actress Alyssa Milano on her Instagram page.

Furthermore, according to a study released by scientist Nathalie Lambert from the Indiana University School of Medicine, in the 1,567 volunteers included in the study, 423 of them reported they lost their hair in an unusual way. According to Cleveland hospitals, “This hair loss can last for up to six to nine months. Generally, most cases resolve on their own”.

Last but not least, could persistent hiccup be a coronavirus telltale? This is what The American Journal of Emergency Medicine thinks, reporting the case of a 62-year-old male. The latter showed up this past spring to the Emergency Department with a four-day history of persistent hiccups. Showing no other symptom, the man has been tested to Covid-19 and the result turned positive. According to scientists, it is “the first case report of persistent hiccups as the presenting complaint in a COVID-19 positive patient in emergency medicine literature”.

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