Fever, cough, fatigue, loss of taste and smell, body aches, skin manifestations … The list of symptoms associated with the coronavirus continues to grow. And for good reason: these evocative signs of Covid-19 are not the only ones that can be associated with the disease. Over the weeks, new manifestations caused by the virus are identified. A new study, carried out by a team of doctors in Chicago (United States) has added a new symptom of the disease to those already known. This is a persistent hiccup.
Covid-19: a patient had persistent hiccups as only symptom
In their study, published in the journal The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, doctors described the case of a 62-year-old patient, who presented to the emergency room last April after having hiccups for four days. The practitioners also observed in the patient unexplained weight loss during the past four months. These are the only symptoms the patient had. He suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease but had no signs of the coronavirus, such as fever, sore throat, or chest pain.
Doctors asked the patient to do a chest x-ray, CT scan and blood tests because his hiccups had persisted for several days. Tests showed lung damage and low levels of white blood cells, sodium and chloride. To rule out the trail of the coronavirus, doctors asked him to perform a Covid-19 screening test and transferred him as a precaution to a unit dedicated to caring for coronavirus patients.
Persistent hiccups could be a symptom of the coronavirus
When he arrived in this unit, his temperature was 38.4 and his heart rate had increased. The next day, the results of his screening test came in: they were positive. The study specified that the patient had undergone treatment with hydroxychloroquine, before the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the drug ineffective.
“To our knowledge, this is the first case of persistent hiccups in a patient positive for Covid-19”, say the doctors. Practitioners called on their colleagues to pay special attention to this symptom and said the disease was showing more and more atypical signs.