Scientists warn of new Covid symptom directly linked to Omicron variant

Researchers working on the Covid Symptom Study found that a number of participants who tested positive for the new variant of the virus were reporting unusual skin rashes

Woman scratching her forearm
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 can cause skin rashes, scientists found

Scientists have discovered a new coronavirus symptom that appears to be directly linked to the Omicron variant.

The new strain, which now accounts for the majority of Covid-19 infections around the UK, can cause skin rashes, experts believe.

Data from the Covid Symptom Study, led by researchers from King’s College London and health science company ZOE, showed a number of participants were reporting unusual skin rashes.

Scientists found that 8.8% of people reporting a positive coronavirus swab test had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms, compared with 5.4% of people with a negative test result.

Similar results were seen in a further 8.2% of users with a rash who did not have a coronavirus test but experienced other Covid symptoms such as cough, fever, or loss of smell.

The rashes caused by the virus fall into three categories, researchers said


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In some cases, scientists found that a number of people who tested positive for the virus had a skin rash as their only symptom – however it’s not known for certain if the virus has caused it.

The rashes associated with Covid-19 were found to fall into three categories:

Commenting on the study, consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk said: “These findings highlight the importance of keeping an eye on any new changes in your skin, such as lumps, bumps or rashes.

Omicron is now the dominant coronavirus strain in the UK



“Early reporting of Covid-associated rashes by members of the public and recognition of their significance by frontline healthcare practitioners – such as GPs, NHS 111 and hospital staff – may increase the detection of coronavirus infections and help to stop the spread.”

Dr Tanya Bleiker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, added: “Documenting the skin symptoms associated with Covid-19 is an important piece of the puzzle in building our understanding of the disease.

“Skin symptoms may play a crucial role in detecting infection in people who are otherwise asymptomatic.”

A number of people also reported a type of ‘brain fog’ after contracting the virus (Stock photo)


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Scientists working on the study also found that a number of people who contracted the virus reported a loss of appetite as a potential symptom.

Some also said they experienced a type of “brain fog” when having the virus.

Other common symptoms of the Omicron variant were similar to the Delta strain, including a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and a sore throat.

Body aches and night sweats were also found to be associated with the new variant of the disease.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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