AKRON Ohio (WOIO) - About 20 children and teens were treated for red, painfully inflamed toes at Akron Children’s Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed hospital officials.
Officials said while most of these patients did not receive a COVID-19 test due to guidelines and access at the time, doctors assumed this was a symptom of coronavirus.
“Chilblains are much more common in cold weather than in warmer months like April, May and June,” said Dr. Steven Spalding, director of Pediatric Rheumatology at Akron Children’s. “And new research published in British Journal of Dermatology has found the coronavirus present in the vascular cells of patients with these ‘Covid toes,’ as they have come to be called.”
Dr. Spalding said the redness and swelling lasts no more than eight weeks and treatments are available to help with the swelling and itching.
“We could be seeing more of this in the fall and winter with cooler weather and if kids are back in school,” said Dr. Spalding. “What we don’t yet know is if these patients are contagious. Now that testing is more widely available, we would suggest these patients get a nasal swab test to help make decisions about quarantine and contact tracing.”