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If you see this on your skin, call your doctor, because it could be severe COVID-19

Published Nov 2nd, 2020 5:58PM EST
Coronavirus Symptoms
Image: Fabian/Adobe

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  • Many coronavirus survivors are noticing that some COVID-19 symptoms don’t go away even after a few months.
  • Some common symptoms that tend to linger include fatigue and memory loss.
  • New research has found that coronavirus patients who notice purple skin lesions as an early symptom are more likely to require hospitalization.
  • The CDC has said that about one-third of coronavirus patients are liable to endure symptoms for months on end.

One of the scarier aspects of the coronavirus is that many patients — especially those who endure more severe symptoms — tend to experience lingering health issues that can persist for months after their initial diagnosis. As we’ve highlighted previously, some of the more common COVID-19 symptoms that refuse to go away include fatigue, cough, loss of taste and smell, and muscle aches. More recently, it’s come to light that a growing number of coronavirus survivors experience a range of cognitive issues such as brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss.

Individuals with coronavirus symptoms that linger on for months are known as “long haulers.” The condition itself, meanwhile, has come to be known as long COVID. And now that we’re a few months into the pandemic, researchers have been able to better identify when someone is more likely to experience coronavirus symptoms over a sustained period of time. For instance, a recent research study found that fever and loss of appetite are two early coronavirus symptoms that increase the likelihood of someone developing long COVID.

The aforementioned study reads in part:

We examined whether there were different types of symptomatology within Long-COVID. We found two main patterns: those reporting exclusively fatigue, headache and upper respiratory complaints (shortness of breath, sore throat, persistent cough and loss of smell) and those with multi-system complaints including ongoing fever and gastroenterological symptoms.

In the individuals with long duration, ongoing fever and skipped meals were strong predictors of a subsequent hospital visit.

A more encompassing study involving nearly 1,000 patients across 39 countries found that many long haulers tend to experience changes to their skin upon first becoming infected with the virus.

The study was conducted by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV).

EureakAlert notes:

Patients presented with a broad spectrum of dermatologic manifestations lasting for different lengths of time, including hives (urticaria), lasting for median 5 days, and pernio/chilblains (”COVID toes”), lasting 15 days but sometimes as long as 130-150 days, and papulosquamous eruptions, which are scaly papules and plaques, persisting for 20 days (1).

The study further found one symptom in particular — retiform purpura — resulted in 100% of long COVID patients requiring hospitalization at some point. COVID toes, meanwhile, only resulted in 16% of people requiring hospitalization.

As to what retiform purpura is, it typically manifests as a branch of purple skin lesions that appear on a person’s buttocks and/or extremities. If you do a Google image search for the condition, it’s apparent that the condition is hard to miss. Incidentally, reports of coronavirus patients presenting with retiform purpura as a symptom were making the rounds a few months ago.

If you notice purple skin lesions, even if you’re otherwise asymptomatic, you should get tested immediately.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.