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Skin Rashes Occur in Considerable Number of SARS-CoV-2 Cases

WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021 -- Skin rashes are associated with having a positive swab test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and are common in COVID-19, according to a study recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Alessia Visconti, Ph.D., from King's College London, and colleagues used data from 336,847 U.K. users of the COVID Symptom Study app to examine the diagnostic value of body rash or an acral rash in SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, data were obtained from an independent online survey of 11,544 respondents to examine skin-specific symptoms and collect photographs.

The researchers identified a significant association between skin rashes and a positive swab test result using data from the app (odds ratio, 1.67). Among respondents of the online survey, 17 and 21 percent of SARS-CoV-2-positive cases reported skin rashes as the first presentation and the only clinical sign of COVID-19, respectively.

"This study strongly supports the inclusion of skin rashes in the list of suspicious COVID-19 symptoms. Although they are less prevalent than fever, they are more specific and last longer, and can be easily spotted by patients," the authors write. "Increased awareness from the public and health care professionals regarding COVID-19 skin changes will allow more efficient detection of infection and contact tracing."

Several authors are employees and disclosed financial ties to Zoe Global Limited.

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