Fact-checkghana has sighted a report titled “23 Shocking Signs of COVID-19 You Didn’t Know About.” The report revealed some symptoms that needed further probe to ascertain their veracity.
The report, which was published on Opera News Hub and is being shared on social media platforms, states unusual symptoms of Covid-19 as stroke, stomach upset, swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light, hand lesion, covid toes, coughing blood and confusion among others.
These signs, according to the report, “are sneaky, surprising signs that often fly under the radar, putting you at a higher risk of unknowingly transmitting Covid to others.”
Fact-checkghana has conducted some research to ascertain the authenticity of some of such unknown signs.
Since its emergence in the Wuhan province of China in late 2019, the symptoms of Covid-19 have evolved from the initial ones announced by health authorities..
The commonest symptoms, according to the WHO, are fever, dry cough, and tiredness.
Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Meanwhile, there are several other symptoms that have emerged which many people are not aware of, as cited in the report published on Opera News Hub.
Fact-checkghana spoke with Dr. Priscilla Kyerewaa Twumasi, Head of Disease Control Unit at the Kaneshie Polyclinic and a lead member of the Okai Kwei South Covid-19 team to tell us their experience with some of these symptoms as front liners.
She confirmed some of these claims, citing her personal experiences with patients on it.
With the issue of stroke, she said “true, there are people who get stroke before they die and I have personally worked on some before. There’s a man that died recently and I’m sure you even know him, just that I can’t mention his name. He developed stroke before dying.”
She added that what’s stated in the story is true but it’s unfortunate many Ghanaians are not aware that stroke is part of the symptoms of the virus.
Dr. Kyerewaa affirmed the swollen eyelids and shared how a foreigner she attended to exhibited that symptom.
“There was one Chinese I attended to around TV Africa from the early days of the virus in Ghana who had that symptom. His eyes were swollen and very reddish. So that is also there”, she indicated.
Coughing of blood
“With the coughing of blood, it is with those who had tuberculosis before getting the Covid-19. I have one client who came here and didn’t return. After five days he coughed blood throughout at his home and died”, she explained.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting have also been identified as part of the new symptoms associated with Covid-19.
In Fact-checkghana’s quest to confirm this, Dr. Kyerewaa said “there was one colleague of ours who exhibited similar symptoms at the Cocoa Clinic when she contracted the virus. She vomited throughout and passed on afterwards”.
“If care is not taken you might think you’ve taken in something bad which is making you vomit, without knowing you’ve contracted Covid-19,” she explained further.
Confusion is also an unusual symptom Covid-19 patients are developing.
According to the Public Health Officer, it is one of the most serious symptoms they’ve observed with patients.
She said this comes as a result of the numerous symptoms that come with the disease.
“There are people who become confused. The feelings of nausea, malaria, and severe headache make them confused. Some of the women feel they’re pregnant because of the nausea and vomiting,” she stated.
“Sometimes a patient would ask, “Do you think I am mad?” Then I tell them, “No, you are not mad. You are just confused because of the situation you are in.” Dr Kyerewaa recounted.
Diarrhoea is also part of the symptoms that people are not aware of. According to the health expert, “when one gets the Covid-19, the initial reaction of the virus when it enters the body causes that. This is very serious and it’s one of the symptoms we don’t talk about at all in Ghana.”
To further authenticate these claims, Fact-checkghana researched through to detect if there are some global cases or theories to support.
Global Research on Covid-19 and stroke
According to a publication by George Citroner on Healthline.com, Covid-19 has been found to cause blood clots that can lead to severe stroke.
Experts say this can happen in any patients regardless of age, and even in those with few or no symptoms.
People with Covid-19 as young as 30 are experiencing strokes even when their symptoms are mild.
Screenshot of Healthline.com analysing relationship between Covid-19 and stroke
Another research sited on WebMD, an American corporation known primarily as an online publisher of news and information pertaining to human health and well-being, indicates, “the coronavirus has been shown to cause development of microthrombi [small clots]. These clots can travel to the lung and obstruct blood flow to the lung, which is called pulmonary embolism, or travel to brain circulation and cause ischemic stroke,” Dr. Theresa Capriotti, DO, MSN, RN, at Villanova University said.
“It seems to be happening to those affected with severe COVID symptoms,” Capriotti said. “It can occur in any age group and it occurs suddenly.”
Symptoms to watch out for include, weakness or paralysis of the extremities on one side of the body, lack of sensation in extremities on one side of the body, facial droop on one side of the face and speech impairment.
New York doctors ‘sound the alarm’
When doctors like Dr. Johanna T. Fifi at Mount Sinai saw unusual numbers of stroke patients with Covid-19 in March, she and colleagues decided to sound the alarm.
“We’re hypothesizing that the virus is having an effect on the lining of the blood vessels all through the body — and that is what is leading to the clots,” she said.
Their report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
“We published that report because that was a little bit unusual to see so many young patients in such a short period of time,” said Fifi. “But we have some other research looking at our overall numbers, and we saw about double the amount of large vessel stroke Trusted Source than normal during the peak weeks of Covid.
MayoClinic on Covid-19 and stomach upset, skin lesions, confusion and eye problems
MayoClinic in Jacksonville, Florida, in the United States says despite the numerous symptoms associated with Covid-19, there are others that are not expected including gastrointestinal symptoms.
Covid-19 might cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms, including loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that might only last for a short while.
Skin lesions and Covid toes: Younger people with less severe Covid-19 might develop painful, itchy lesions on their hands and feet that resemble chilblains, an inflammatory skin condition.
Sometimes called Covid toes, this symptom typically lasts about 12 days.
Confusion: Covid-19 also has been reported to cause confusion in older people, especially those with severe infections according to MayoClinic in the United States.
Eye problems: Covid-19 might cause eye problems such as enlarged, red blood vessels, swollen eyelids, excessive watering and increased discharge.
The infection also might cause light sensitivity and irritation. These symptoms are more common in people with severe infections.
The unusual symptoms of Covid-19, explained by Dr Kyerewaa and subsequently authenticated by facts on the global scale establishes the fact that, there are several symptoms of Covid-19 that the public may not be aware of.
Supported by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and the European Union