Diagnostic value of skin manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection [article]

Veronique Bataille, Alessia Visconti, Niccolo' Rossi, Benjamin Murray, Abigail Bournot, Jonathan Wolf, Sebastien Ourselin, Claire Steves, Timothy Spector, Mario Falchi
2020 medRxiv   pre-print
SARS-CoV-2 causes multiple immune-related reactions at various stages of the disease. The wide variety of skin presentations has delayed linking these to the virus. Previous studies had attempted to look at the prevalence and timing of SARS-COV-2 rashes but were based on mostly hospitalized severe cases and had little follow up. Using data collected on a subset of 336,847 eligible UK users of the COVID Symptom Study app, we observed that 8.8% of the swab positive cases (total: 2,021 subjects)
more » ... : 2,021 subjects) reported either a body rash or an acral rash, compared to 5.4% of those with a negative swab test (total: 25,136). Together, these two skin presentations showed an odds ratio (OR) of 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.41-1.96) for being swab positive. Skin rashes were also predictive in the larger untested group of symptomatic app users (N=54,652), as 8.2% of those who had reported at least one classical COVID-19 symptom, i.e., fever, persistent cough, and/or anosmia, also reported a rash. Data from an independent online survey of 11,546 respondents with a rash showed that in 17% of swab positive cases, the rash was the initial presentation. Furthermore, in 21%, the rash was the only clinical sign. Skin rashes cluster with other COVID-19 symptoms, are predictive of a positive swab test and occur in a significant number of cases, either alone or before other classical symptoms. Recognising rashes is important in identifying new and earlier COVID-19 cases.
doi:10.1101/2020.07.10.20150656 fatcat:pyl7tlo3h5grhml3o3ekdjrnta