Parents warned to watch out for nasty rash that can strike toddlers with Covid

PARENTS have been warned to look out for a nasty rash that can strike toddlers who have Covid.

Skin manifestations caused by the bug are well documented and are the only symptom in one in five cases, experts have said.

It ranges from itchy welts, mouth ulcers, Covid toes and eczema. 

Doctors at Hospital Dona Estefania, Lisbon, Portugal, described the case of a small boy whose skin broke out in red blotches. 

The 14-month-old boy was brought in by his parents who said for two days, he had a fever and had been vomiting.

A PCR test came back positive for the coronavirus but no other respiratory viruses.

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The unnamed youngster was showing no respiratory symptoms suggestive of Covid, such as sneezing or a cough.

When the one-year-old was kept overnight, he developed a rash the next day.

It started on his face before spreading to his areas, tummy, chest, limbs, hands and feet.

Photos published in the British Medical Journal Case Reports show the toddler, who is in a nappy and sucking a dummy, covered in large splotches of red skin. 

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The rash was described as acute haemorrhagic oedema of infancy (AHEI), which causes large bruise-like lesions, swelling and a fever.

The swelling was mostly in his extremities – the hands and feet.

The little boy also had purpuric lesions on the face, which can look like lots of small pinpoint dots, or large bruise marks, caused by bleeding of small blood vessels under the skin.

Thankfully, there was no evidence the rash was causing the boy any pain.

It slowly improved over three days while the boy was being given antibiotics, and healed completely over two weeks.

Doctors said AHEI was an unusual side effect of Covid, after other potential causes were ruled out.

“Cutaneous lesions are an atypical manifestation of Covid-19 in children,” they said.

Although a rash may be a less common feature of Covid, it may last longer and even require medical treatment.

A photo database was set up by dermatologists in the early days of the pandemic to collect photos of Covid-related skin problems.

The online library of hundreds of photos, categorised by the British Association of Dermatologists, can help people spot the signs.

Meanwhile, another skin disorder can rarely occur in children once they have already recovered from the virus.

Known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), it can cause symptoms of a skin rash, vomiting, dizziness, bloodshot eyes, stomach pain and diarrhoea.

Scientists worked out that children were presenting to hospital with these concerning symptoms weeks after Covid infection by testing for antibodies.

They may have not shown signs of the bug when they were infected.

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MIS-C, sometiems called paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS), can be serious, sometimes even deadly in extremely rare cases.

But doctors are equipped to cope with the new illness.

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