New warning over rare coronavirus symptom after nurse tests positive

A FEVER, continuous cough and being short are breath are among the unpleasant but recognised coronavirus signs.

But experts are warning that there could be another rare symptom of Covid-19 to be on the look out for.

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It comes after a nurse in Queensland, Australia, tested positive for the virus after suffering with abdominal pain.

The medic didn't have any of the key symptoms but had been treating patients on a coronavirus ward at Ipswich Hospital, about 25 miles from Brisbane.

Steven Miles, Deputy Premier and Health Minister, said: “He identified he had abdominal pain, not normally considered a symptom of Covid-19, but he was incredibly wise and he identified that that was a symptom that could be from Covid-19.

 

 

“He went and got tested and that test came back positive.”

He added that regularly monitoring your health can also help to make sure any unusual symptoms are picked up quickly.

Mr Miles said: “We can all do the right thing by monitoring our health and if we have any symptoms at all that are of any cause for concern, we can go and get tested – so we thank him very much for that.”

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It's not the first time experts have reported a link between abdominal pain and Covid-19.

A study published by the Royal College of Physicians in May suggested that a number of Covid patients in France had suffered acute abdominal pain, but no pulmonary symptoms.

Researchers said in at least one of the patients, the pain had been associated with nausea and diarrhoea – both of which are listed by the World Health Organisation as less common signs of coronavirus.

However, the researchers noted that “there has been no previous report of afebrile acute abdominal pain as the first presentation of Covid-19”.

The team, led by Gérald Gahide, wrote: “The pathophysiology of these abdominal pains likely relies on an inflammatory process such as gastroenteritis.

"Even though coronaviruses are considered as respiratory viruses mostly transmitted via the airways, primary or secondary oral contamination may be responsible for these abdominal symptoms."

A separate study, published by The Lancet in early July, reported that eight children in the UK went to hospital with “symptoms of atypical appendicitis” and later tested positive for Covid-19.

Researchers wrote: “We draw attention to Covid-19 presenting in paediatric patients with primary symptoms of fever and abdominal pain, which might be mistaken for appendicitis.

“All patients presented with a combination of symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting.”

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In May, health officials added a loss or change in the sense of smell or taste to the official list of coronavirus symptoms after a surge in patients reporting the bizarre symptom, known medically as anosmia.

It came after a major study, published by Professor Tim Spector at King's College London, found that people with a positive test result were three times more likely to report loss of smell and taste as a symptom than those who went on to test negative.

Until that point, the NHS had only listed a fever and a continuous cough as symptoms of the killer bug.

Prof Spector said there are even more symptoms – such as tiredness, stomach pain or diarrhoea – that could be included as possible coronavirus symptoms.

He said: "We list about 14 symptoms which we know are related to having a positive swab test.

"These are not being picked up by the NHS. This country is missing them all and not only underestimating cases, but also putting people at risk and continuing the epidemic.

"There's no point telling people to be alert if they don't know the symptoms."

But Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer, said that adding anosmia as a symptom to the list, picks up just two per cent more cases.

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