Health

Coronavirus symptoms: Study reports bizarre sign of a COVID-19 infection

New research has pinpointed an unexpected sign of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). Here's some food for thought.

Doctors in Chicago, USA, have noted a bizarre symptom in an older man who tested positive for COVID-19.

A report published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine details the case of an unwell man who suffered from hiccups.

It stated: "Here we present a case of persistent hiccups as the presenting symptom of a COVID-19 infection in a 62-year-old man."

The paper noted the patient had suffered from hiccups for four days, before being admitted to hospital with a high temperature of 37.3C.

Further tests revealed the patient was struggling with his lung capacity, and the man was then put into an isolation room and tested for the disease.

Later on, his temperature increased to 38.4C and he tested positive for the virus.

The report continued: "To our knowledge, this is the first case report of persistent hiccups as the presenting complaint in a COVID-19 positive patient in emergency medicine literature."

The doctors from Cook County Health, Chicago, said this sign shouldn't be dismissed, The Sun reported.

The paper stated: "Physicians should keep COVID-19 infection on their differential as more cases are discovered through atypical presentations."

Prior to this research, reports circulated about the loss of taste or smell being a symptom of the disease.

This speculation soon ended when the symptom made its way onto the official NHS website as a sign of the disease.

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At present, the NHS has verified three main symptoms of COVID-19: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

A high temperature means "you feel hot to touch on your chest or back" – and this doesn't require a thermometer.

The other sign of COVID-19, a new, continuous, cough "means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours".

If you already suffer from a continuous cough – due to various health reasons – you may have noticed it's worse than usual.


Then there's the final "common" symptom of COVID-19, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

This "means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal".

The NHS attested: "Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a much larger selection of COVID-19 symptoms.


WHO regard "tiredness" as one of the most common signs of infection, but agree that a "dry cough" or "fever" are also typical symptoms.

The organisation noted that there are more than a handful of "less common" symptoms to be aware of.

These include: aches and pains; sore throat; diarrhoea; conjunctivitis; headache; a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Interestingly, the WHO noted a "loss of taste or smell" as a "less common" feature of the disease.



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