An itchy erythematous papular skin rash as a possible early sign of COVID-19: a case report

Alice Serafini, Peter Konstantin Kurotschka, Mariabeatrice Bertolani, Silvia Riccomi
2020 Journal of Medical Case Reports  
Background Several recent studies suggest the possibility of a skin rash being a clinical presentation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of this case report is to bring attention to skin manifestations in the early stage of COVID-19 in order to support frontline physicians in their crucial activity of case identification. Case presentation The patient is an Italian 32-year-old female nurse who had several close contacts with multiple patients with COVID-19 as part of her
more » ... s part of her professional workload. On March 13, 2020, the patient developed an itchy, erythematous papular rash (sparing only her face, scalp, and abdomen), which lasted for 10 days. The rash was accompanied by a feeling of general fatigue that gradually worsened over the following days and has continued for 5 months (until the end of July 2020). During the first week of remote assessment carried out by her general practitioner, the patient gradually developed a dry cough, intermittent fever, and diarrhoea and then had a positive test result for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Her skin manifestations disappeared completely 48 days after the onset of the disease, followed by the disappearance of the dry cough. Conclusions In light of recent studies, this case report suggests that skin manifestations, when taken into account with other situational factors (such as profession and patient history) should be taken into proper consideration by frontline physicians as possibly being caused by SARS-CoV-2. Early identification of COVID-19 is a key part of the strategy of case detection and case isolation. To enhance this activity, further research is needed to establish frequency, symptoms, signs, and pathogenesis of skin manifestations in patients with COVID-19.
doi:10.1186/s13256-020-02538-y pmid:33168054 fatcat:sqbcwtjkxnalpg7cpe6s23igjq