A man with persistent hiccups was found to also have coronavirus - but are the two related?

By Stephanie Rendall
Monday, 24th August 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Monday, 24th August 2020, 3:07 pm
A man in Chicago suffering with persistent hiccups went on to test positive for Covid-19. (Shutterstock)
A man in Chicago suffering with persistent hiccups went on to test positive for Covid-19. (Shutterstock)

Persistent hiccups could potentially be a symptom of coronavirus, medical experts have warned.

Doctors from Cook County Health in Chicago have said that people with unusual symptoms such as hiccups should not be dismissed over coronavirus concerns.

The advice came after a man suffering with hiccups for several days went on to test positive for Covid-19, despite not displaying any other symptoms of the virus.

‘Remain vigilant’

The doctors at Cook County Health urged “physicians [to] keep Covid-19 infections on their differential as more cases are discovered through atypical presentations.”

They added that doctors should also remain “vigilant and maintain personal protective equipment to avoid exposure from the undifferentiated patient.”

Hiccups prior to a positive test

The patient who tested positive after suffering from persistent hiccups was a 62 year old from Chicago, who was admitted to the hospital in April.

According to a case report, published in the American Journal of Emergency medicine, his doctors noted that he had unexplained weight loss. However, he did suffer from diabetes. The patient wasn't suffering from the usual telltale symptoms of coronavirus, such as a fever, or a sore throat.

By the time the patient was admitted and tested for coronavirus, he had been suffering from persistent hiccups for four days.

What are the most common coronavirus symptoms?

NHS England initially listed the main symptoms of coronavirus as a new and persistent cough and a high temperature. But, back in May, they added a loss of taste and smell to its official symptom list.

However, as scientists still have such a lack of data on and knowledge about the virus, these symptoms are not guaranteed to remain the only recognised ones.

What are some other possible symptoms?

Some doctors and scientists have suggested adding headaches and skin rashes to the official list of coronavirus symptoms, while some people who have recovered from the virus claimed it caused their hair to fall out.