Fever, coughing and shortness of breath are known symptoms of covid-19, but other warning signs can include weakness, poor blood sugar control and gastrointestinal complaints, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Researchers analyzed nearly 12,000 visits by adult patients to emergency departments at five New York City hospitals. They found covid-19 in 57.5 percent of patients who went to the hospital because of weakness, falls or altered mental status; 55.5 percent of those who came in because their blood sugar was out of control; and 51.4 percent of patients whose chief complaint was a gastrointestinal problem.

Patients 65 and older tended to have more atypical complaints, such as diarrhea, fatigue and weakness. Patients with dehydration, altered mental status, falls and high blood sugar were at higher risk for death in the study.

The new findings can help hospitals provide better care and are “also important for family members and people that work with the elderly to better identify possible warning signs of covid-19 infection,” co-author Christopher Clifford of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said.

— Reuters