COVID toes: A mysterious new coronavirus symptom

COVID toes: A mysterious new coronavirus symptom

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The typical symptoms for the coronavirus include a dry cough, difficulty breathing and a fever, but health officials are now saying that discoloration in the toes may be another symptom that is linked to COVID-19.

Health officials are seeing discoloration in people’s toes, usually among children and young adult patients. A dermatologist with the South Bend Clinic said  COVID toe symptoms are not conclusive, but doctors have been seeing a correlation with the novel coronavirus.

Doctors say they’ve seen slight discoloration, and swelling in the toes of asymptomatic patients. It typically shows up on the tip of the toes, as a reddish-purple rash, which can sting or burn.

Health officials are still trying to figure out what causes COVID toe, but Dr. Holly Harke Harris, a dermatologist at South Bend Clinic said there are theories with how it develops.

“We think that maybe what’s happening is the inflammation that is occurring is causing the blood vessels to clamp down, and this creates a vascular response that then presents this purplish-red discoloration,” Dr. Harris said. “The other theory is that perhaps there’s some small blood clots that are occurring because we know blood clots are related to this virus.”

COVID toe was reported early on when the outbreak first started. Health officials are still looking into this new development to learn more from it.

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