Health practitioners are noticing a strange new sign that patients could be carrying the coronavirus without symptoms such as a dry cough or fever.
The media and even some health experts are now referring to the condition as “COVID toes” — mysterious blue or red discoloration in toes and sometimes fingers. It seems to only affect young people.
“We don’t know for sure if it’s related to COVID-19, but when it’s so common right now during a pandemic and is occurring in otherwise asymptomatic or mildly affected patients, it seems too much of a coincidence not to be a manifestation of the virus for patients in their teens and 20s,” Amy Paller, the chair of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Luckily, the toes seem to turn back to normal quickly.
“I think it’s much more rampant than we even realize,” Paller added in the statement. “The good news is it resolves spontaneously.”
“Sometime itchy, often times painful,” Paller told Chicago’s WGN9 News, “these are individuals who are often without any other sign of viral infection. We are seeing this in unprecedented numbers.”
“They’re typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation,” Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, told USA Today. “Sometimes this might be your first clue that they have COVID when they don’t have any other symptoms.”
The news comes after doctors found that a loss of smell and taste could be a first symptom of COVID-19.
Luckily, COVID toes are seemingly not a sign of impending doom.
“None of these teens or young adults have gone on to have any serious issues,” Paller told WGN9.
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READ MORE: What Are ‘COVID Toes’? [The Cut]
More on the virus: DOCTORS THINK THIS MAY BE THE FIRST SYMPTOM OF THE CORONAVIRUS