Cough, cold or fever are no longer the only warning signs of Covid. Severe backache, abdominal pain, rashes or aching calves could also be the calling card of the virus.
Doctors treating Covid cases in the city say diarrhoea may be more common than previously thought. Patients with no history of diabetes brought to hospital with sugar levels of 400-plus dl/gm is also a red flag. “Doctors are seeing patients with uncommon symptoms such as bodyache; some have no complaint apart from pain round the knees and below,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state government task force on Covid-19.
Senior doctor Jalil Parkar who treated over 200 Covid patients before testing positive for the virus, said backache was the first symptom he had experienced.
On Monday, the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added three new symptoms to its list of nine Covid warning signs: congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhoea.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had a fortnight ago added loss of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia) as probable symptoms. It also added that while fever, tiredness and dry cough are the most common symptoms, “some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea”.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr Om Srivastava, who is also a task force member, said nausea is emerging as a common symptom. “We have found Covid in people coming with abdominal pain and loose motions with bodyache. Even simple fever is turning out to be Covid,” said Dr Hemant Gupta, professor of medicine at Grant Medical College (JJ Hospital). “Sugar level going haywire has also become a parameter for us. Not only do the sugar levels shoot up in those with Covid, but patients also need high insulin doses,” he added.
Dr Behram Pardiwala, internal medicine expert, at Wockhardt Hospital said sometimes patients have no other symptom but weakness and lethargy or lethargy and loose motions. “Some younger patients and adults are coming with complaints of itching and rashes. We have seen this in at least three adults,” he said.