Mouth and skin rashes could be another symptom of coronavirus

Lesions and spots in the mouth and rashes on the arms and legs could all be signs of coronavirus, a new study has revealed.

Around one third of patients suffering from Covid-19 were found to have breakouts on their skin and the roof of their mouth, researchers in Spain found. The rashes were recorded around two weeks after the patients first showed common signs of the virus, such as a fever or shortness of breath.

Experts from Ramon y Cajal University Hospital, in Madrid, are now urging doctors to inspect the inside of patients’ mouths after they test positive for the virus. It is thought new symptoms of Covid-19 are likely to emerge as the number of cases rise across the world.

The study, which was published in the JAMA Dermatology journal, examined 21 coronavirus victims, all between the ages of 40 and 69, who suffered skin rashes while in hospital between March 30 and April 8.

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Six of them had enanthem, a rash of small sports which typically appears in the mouth, nose and throat. The time between the first symptoms of the virus and the appearance of the rashes was on average 12 days.

Writing in the report, the researchers said: ‘Despite the increasing reports of skin rashes in patients with COVID-19, establishing an etiological diagnosis is challenging.

‘However, the presence of enanthem is a strong clue that suggests a viral etiology rather than a drug reaction, especially when a petechial pattern is observed.’

Cases of enanthem among coronavirus victims have also been recorded in Italy, but experts say medics are often hesitant to examine their patients’ mouths due to concern about infection through cough droplets.

A previous study in Italy also found that skin rashes among 18 patients, who were described to have ‘chicken-pox like’ symptoms after coming down with the virus.

At present, NHS England still lists the key coronavirus symptoms as a new and persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste or smell. However, some people may also experience headaches, muscle pain or a sore throat.

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