4 Coronavirus Symptoms Most Likely to Be Deadly

These symptoms may not seem that severe, but they're significantly linked to coronavirus death.

Symptomatic coronavirus cases can run the gamut from mild discomfort that can be treated at home to serious, multi-faceted cases that can cause long-term health issues, massive organ failure, and even death. While preexisting conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, have all been shown to increase a person's risk of dying from coronavirus, there are numerous symptoms caused by the virus that may predict a person's likelihood of becoming fatally ill—in many cases irrespective of any known comorbidities. So, read on to discover which which coronavirus symptoms are the deadliest. And for some issues caused by coronavirus that may be flying under your radar, check out these 6 COVID Symptoms That Are Right in Front of You.

Blood clots in your legs

doctor examining patient's leg
Shutterstock/Denis Simonov

Irregular blood clotting has been singled out as one of the most "startling and, unfortunately, devastating complications" of coronavirus, according to Gary Gibbons, MD, director of NIH's Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It's also among the deadliest: A July 2020 study published in the journal Radiology reveals that 38 percent of study subjects with coronavirus who experienced blood clots in their legs died. And for insight into potential lifesaving treatments, This Could Help the "Sickest of the Sick" Coronavirus Patients, Doctors Say.

A web-like rash

woman getting mole checked at the dermatologist, skin cancer facts
Shutterstock/Gordana Sermek

While there are numerous dermatological symptoms of coronavirus that don't necessarily predict extreme outcomes—from a mouth rash to a measles-like rash on the skin—a web-like rash could mean serious trouble. Retiform purpura was found only in coronavirus patients who were critically ill in a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), and the condition was associated with death in 27 percent of the study's coronavirus patients. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

High blood sugar

Woman doing diabetes test

Diabetes has been identified as a predictive factor for serious complications in many coronavirus cases—according to an April 2020 study published in the Journal of Infection, coronavirus patients with preexisting diabetes were nearly four times more likely to die than those without the condition. However, even among patients without diabetes, high blood sugar was a significant predictor of mortality. An April 2020 study published in the Journal of Infection found that coronavirus patients without diabetes who had significantly elevated blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, had nearly double the risk of death compared to other COVID patients. And for more insight into the connection between chronic illness and COVID, Coronavirus Is Killing People with This Common Condition in a Week.

High fever

A women is feeling sick and sleeping on a sofa at home.

Fever is a commonly reported symptom, even in mild coronavirus cases. However, when temperatures elevate past a certain point, they're more likely to become fatal. A June 2020 study published in Critical Care reveals that coronavirus patients with a maximum body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit had as much as a 42 percent risk of death. And if you're wondering how long coronavirus is contagious for, You Can Catch COVID From Someone This Many Days After Their Symptoms Begin.


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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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