Research continues on less common COVID-19 side effects

Posted at 12:28 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 13:29:25-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The main symptoms of COVID-19- such as shortness of breath, fever, loss of taste and smell, sore throat and so on are well-known.

However, there’s have been many cases with reported side effects which doctors continue to research in order to determine the cause behind the symptoms.

UNMC Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Andrew Vasey says they’ve seen several different kinds of rashes. They have also seen some cases of "COVID toe," which is when an infected individual's toes get red spots that can be very painful. Itchy and irritated eyes are another symptom.

Those are acute symptoms. Dotcors have also seen side effects that have lasted longer. One of such side effects is hair loss.

“This takes a little bit of time to happen, so it usually doesn’t happen with the acute infection," Dr. Vasey said. “It will be weeks to months later that people will start having this. It generally isn’t patchy, so the hair loss is more diffused, so people will notice it more when they brush their hair and things like that. There can be thinning in it so you can see quite a bit of a difference, some people just notice more hair on the brush.”

Doctor Vasey says the hair loss usually ends around two to three months after the period of hair loss began.

He says that one of the acute symptoms from the virus they have seen more frequently has been confusion, especially in those who are older or are being admitted into the hospital.

Most of the symptoms don’t last more than a couple of weeks. However, it’s different in every case.

There are people that have had more serious symptoms that have turned into chronic health issues and are battling what is known as long-haul COVID.

Dr. Vasey says while they can help support people struggling with the side effects, there is no treatment that will get rid of them.

“Some people get better after three months, some six months, there’s people that are going on more than a year that are still having issues,” Dr. Vasey said. “Usually, the course is with time things do get better, but there still are people who are a year out and are still unable to function because of whatever issues they are having is really debilitating.”

He says while it may seem like the virus has been around for a long time now, it’s still very new.

Time is important for healing but also for medical professionals to continue to learn more about the virus.

He says one patient said their smell and taste came back after getting the vaccine.

He’s unsure if it was the vaccine or just time that helped cure the side effect, but says anyone who has had COVID and is unvaccinated should still get the shot to be safe.

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