Information regarding the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving as data continues to emerge throughout the world. It is well-known that the primary symptoms tied to the coronavirus disease are fever, cough, and difficulty of breathing. As time passed by, other symptoms emerged, including the loss of smell and taste, fatigue, body pains, headache, hair loss, and even a rash in the mouth. Now, a team of researchers revealed another atypical symptom reported by patients infected with COVID-19 which is hiccups.
The study noted: "A case report of 138 COVID-19 positive patients in Wuhan, China described fever, fatigue, and dry cough as the most common presenting symptoms, although a wide array of presenting complaints have been identified, including but not limited to myalgia, headache, haemoptysis, and isolated gastrointestinal symptoms among others.
"Here we describe a case report of a male patient who presented with persistent hiccups as his chief complaint and was found to be COVID with ground glass opacities on computed tomography (CT) of his chest. "
A 62-year-old male with a past medical history of diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with a chief complaint of weight loss and hiccups.
The case report of the man who had hiccups highlights crucial issues; the researchers noted.
Firstly, it underscores the importance of having a detailed evaluation of those presenting with hiccups.
Aside from this, it is also important for doctors to take a thorough history, conduct a physical exam, and to obtain general laboratory work and chest X-ray imaging.
Secondly, health professionals should keep COVID-19 infection on their differential as more cases are being discovered through atypical symptoms, which could be unexpected and bizarre.
Hiccups happen when a person's intake of air becomes momentarily blocked. It can happen for no apparent reason, said Medical News Today.
The health site continued: "It is usually a minor nuisance, but prolonged hiccups can indicate a serious medical problem.
"Most people have hiccups from time to time, and they usually resolve without treatment within a few minutes.
Rarely, there may be prolonged or chronic hiccups, which can last a month or more. Hiccups that last over 2 months are known as intractable hiccups."
Hiccups that last less than 48 hours do not usually need any medical attention, because they resolve on their own.
If they persist for longer, a doctor should be consulted.
The doctor may ask when the hiccups began, how often they occur, how frequent they are, whether they are happening all the time, and what a person was doing before they started.
If you have been experiencing persistent hiccups, it's important to carefully monitor other possible warning symptoms of COVID-19.