The warning signs of Covid toes to spot as cases rise
Coronavirus: Experts detect virus using nanotechnology bubbles
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Dubbed “Covid toes”, the phenomenon has affected so many people that the Royal College of Podiatry has issued advice over how to look for and treat symptoms.
The main symptoms of Covid toes to look out for are swelling and discolouration of the appendages.
According to the Royal College, Covid toes will appear as “chilblain like lesions”.
Symptoms of chilblains, it explains, are “cold induced lesions” accompanied by:
• Pain or burning
• Blistering or ulceration.
The health body adds: “However, Covid led to a wave of perniosis associated without any cold exposure.” Perniosis is a condition where the small blood vessels become inflamed by an abnormal reaction to colder temperatures.
Who do Covid toes affect?
While they could potentially affect anyone, research has suggested that children are more likely to develop the symptom than adults.
The Royal College said they are “predominantly a paediatric problem”, but that it has seen cases in adults.
In the main, however, Covid toes are a rare occurrence. Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Doctor Donald Grant reassured: “Blistered feet (or Covid toes) are a rare symptom associated with coronavirus.
“In some cases, the virus can affect your skin causing discolouration and swelling around your toes. As Covid is still such a new virus, the exact reason that this happens is not fully understood by virologists and dermatologists.”
As a result, the reason why Covid causes these lesions is unlikely to be known in the short term, and adds another to the list of Covid mysteries yet to be solved.
Doctor Grant added: “The symptom, which can also affect your hands, results in blisters and the development of itchy painful bumps. Covid toes can appear at any age.
“That said, the symptom does seem most prevalent in children, teenagers, and young adults. The typical first signs of Covid toes are swelling and discolouration, firstly turning red and then purple as the condition progresses.
“If you spot the early signs of Covid toes, take a test. Positive tests for those who present these symptoms should be reported to a doctor as research into the phenomenon is ongoing. It seems coronavirus continues to surprise us over two years on!”
What should I do if I test positive?
While there are no Covid restrictions at the moment, self-isolation is recommended as a way to reduce the risk of passing the virus onto someone who may develop severe illness as a result.
Symptoms of the virus in adults include:
• A high temperature
• A new, continuous cough
• Shortness of breath
• A headache
• A new, continuous cough
• Feeling tired or exhausted
• A sore through
• A blocked or runny nose
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling sick or being sick.
Although Covid remains a threat this winter, there is some positive news from the data as both deaths, cases, and hospitalisations are falling.
There had been some worry that the sixth wave of the virus would be more virulent than the fifth and form part of a tripledemic of threats that would pile even more pressure on the NHS.
In recent weeks, data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) show that deaths where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate are plateauing.
Furthermore, the ONS has also reported the number of people testing positive falling too, a drop which will take some time to be reflected in the number of people dying, an area where the UK has an unenviable record.
As of this month it is thought around 200,000 people in the UK have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, the equivalent of the city of York.
It is for this reason that virologists and the health community are stressing that while we may have a Covid free Christmas, we are not out of the proverbial woods just yet.
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