Covid-19: Dr Hilary calls for return of masks as cases rise
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Covid cases continue to climb throughout the UK, with the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that one in 18 people have the virus. This spike is being fuelled by the quick spreading Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. What’s worse, people are able to catch these new variants even if they’ve had Covid recently.
As the risk of reinfection is high, being able to identify the warning signs could be key.
While Covid is best known for signs, ranging from cough to fever, it can also ring alarm bells on your skin as a rash, according to Zoe Covid Study App.
Based on the data logged in by the app users, Zoe shares that “changes to skin, finger, toes, mouth and tongue” could all be pointing to Covid.
It warns that Covid rashes are usually “itchy” and “may lead to poor sleep”.
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While it’s not completely clear what causes Covid rashes, some experts believe it may be linked to the immune response to the virus.
The main rashes connected to Covid are either considered to be a “prickly heat”, or chickenpox-type rash, and “hive-type rash”.
Being the “most commonly” reported rash, the first kind crops up as small areas of itchy red bumps.
This can appear anywhere on the body but it usually starts around your elbows or knees as well as the back of your hands and feet. It also doesn’t seem to target the face.
The hive-type rash occurs as suddenly raised bumps on your skin which can come and go quite quickly over hours.
This type can pop up at any part of your body as well as your face.
“This rash is extremely itchy and often starts with intense itching in the palms or soles, and can cause swelling of the lips and eyelids,” Zoe explains.
Although there are other types of rashes linked to Covid, these two are the most common.
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When it comes to the time of onset, around half of people get rash at the same time as other Covid symptoms.
However, “a significant minority” experiences this skin sign before any other symptoms.
Covid rash can also appear after the initial infection as a sign of long Covid.
However, Covid rashes don’t seem to be as common as they only affect about nine percent of patients, according to Zoe’s data.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other symptoms that could still help you spot the infection.
Here are the main Covid symptoms as reported by the NHS:
- High temperature or shivering (chills)
- New, continuous cough
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Aching body
- Sore throat
- Blocked or runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
Although it’s no longer required to self-isolate by the law, the health service still encourages people with Covid to stay at home and avoid contact with others.
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