Coronavirus update: The sign in a person’s hair that could signal COVID-19


    Coronavirus symptoms lists are growing by the day with new research suggesting how the virus may affect different parts of the body. While the NHS lists the main symptoms of coronavirus as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste, the World Health Organization displayed a more extensive list, which also includes tiredness, aches and pains, a sore throat, conjunctivitis and a rash on skin.

    A recent study identified a number of potential long-term coronavirus symptoms that had previously been unreported – one of these being hair loss.

    The study was carried out by a doctor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the COVID-19 survivor group Survivor Corps using a Facebook pol.

    The survey, which involved more than 1,500 patients, found 98 possible symptoms .

    “The new symptoms our study identified include severe nerve pain, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, blurry vision and even hair loss,” said Dr Natalie Lambert, an associate research professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

    READ MORE: Coronavirus: Doctors warn of new COVID-19 symptom – when your hiccups may be a sign

    More than a quarter of the survey’s reported symptoms were painful, according to the report.

    These included symptoms such as heartburn, back pain and chest pain.

    The rest of the symptoms were noted as painless, with nearly a third of participants reporting hair loss.

    Other painless symptoms included memory problems, anxiety, dizziness and blurry vision.


    One participant who said she contracted COVID-19 in early April estimated she had lost 75 percent of her hair.

    She wrote: “My face already looks more aged since contracting the virus but still I’m resilient.

    “I’m not sure if may hair will ever return back the same.”

    Dr Esther Freeman, leading the American Academy of Dermatology’s efforts on coronavirus, told they’ve also seen an increasing number of hair loss cases.

    According to the report, hair loss may be linked to a condition called telogen effluvium.

    Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss that usually occurs after shock or a traumatic event, reports Medical News Today.

    Telogen effluvium typically starts about three months after the stressful event, which Freeman told Today would coincide with the pandemic’s peak.

    While Facebook isn’t typically used for the basis of medical studies, Dr Lambert said the Survivor Corps group was valuable for crowdsourcing experiences.

    She added: “Until there is more research that helps us to understand why these long-term symptoms are happening and how to treat them, thousands of long haulers will continue to suffer at home; both from painful COVID-19 symptoms and uncertainty about when they will feel well again.”

    What to do if you have symptoms

    In the UK, the NHS advises if you experience a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste, to:

    1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible

    2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

    It added: “Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.”

    Get a test to check if you have coronavirus here. 


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