Are Hiccups a sign of the new virus?

In March 2020, the World Health Organization announced COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a pandemic.

Since then, COVID-19 has affected tens of millions of people worldwide, leading to new findings about the symptoms that can accompany the disease.

Recently, several case studies have suggested that persistent hiccups may be a potentially rare and uncommon diagnosis of COVID-19.

In this article, we will discuss whether hiccups are a symptom of the new coronavirus, when you should contact your doctor about frequent hiccups, and other important information you should know about COVID-19.

According to the research, hiccups may be a rare sign of COVID-19.

In one recent 2020 case study, a 64-year-old man was found to have persistent hiccups as the only marker of COVID-19.

In this setting, the subject of the study visited an outpatient clinic after experiencing bout hiccups for 72 hours.

Both a blood test and lung imaging were performed. They showed evidence of infection in both lungs and in low white blood cells. Follow-up tests for COVID-19 showed positive diagnosis.

In a different way 2020 case study, a 62-year-old man was also found to have experienced hiccups as a sign of the new coronavirus.

In this case, the subject had been receiving hiccups for a period of 4 days before being presented to the emergency room.

When introduced, further tests showed similar results to their lungs, as well as low white blood cells and plaques. Again, tests for COVID-19 confirmed a positive diagnosis.

It is important to remember that the above studies are just two separate case studies. They show only a potentially rare side effect of COVID-19.

Further research is still needed to determine the link between malignant hiccups and the new coronavirus.

Hiccups are very common and occur when your diaphragm spasms or contracts involuntarily. The diaphragm is your muscle directly below your lungs that separates your chest from your abdomen.

Hiccups can be caused by everything from eating to swallowing air to weight gain, and much more.

While they may be a bit annoying, hiccups are rarely a sign of anything dangerous. Hiccups usually last only a few minutes – although in some cases they are known to last for hours.

According to the National Health Service, hiccups lasting longer than 48 hours are considered a cause for concern and should be treated by a doctor.

Medical treatment options for hiccups are usually reserved for people with malignant hiccups that do not resolve on their own. Some of these treatment options may include:

  • Remedies. Medications for malignant hiccups usually include antispasmodic medications that stop smooth muscle tension from cracking or choking. However, other medications, such as those used to treat GERD, may be prescribed. Baclofen, chlorpromazine, and metoclopramide are all medications that may be prescribed for malignant hiccups.
  • Injections. Although prescription medications are the first line of treatment for persistent lumps, sometimes they are not strong enough. A 2011 case report showed that, in these cases, an injection of bupivacaine may be necessary to block the nerve that causes hiccups.
  • Surgery. If medications or injections do not help stop crooked lumps, surgery may be considered. The surgical option for malignant hiccups involves inserting a device that uses electrical stimulation to stop the hiccups.

For most people, hiccups resolve on their own – they are usually not a burden if they become harmful or cause other health concerns.

You should talk to a doctor if your lumps last longer than 48 hours, as this could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

You may also need to talk to a doctor if your lumps cause you to not be able to eat, breathe or do anything else you would normally do.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • muscle or body pain
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of smell
  • call blas

COVID-19 symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Depending on the severity of the disease, the symptoms can range from asymptomatic (no symptoms at all) to very severe.

In some cases, COVID-19 can cause uncommon symptoms not listed above, such as cooling or broth.

Even more rarely, case studies such as those mentioned above have shown how other abnormal symptoms may be a symptom of the new coronavirus.

If you experience new symptoms and are concerned that you may have developed COVID-19, talk to your doctor as soon as possible for a test.

Although not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that it be tested if:

  • you have symptoms right now
  • you have been in close physical contact with someone with COVID-19
  • your doctor recommends that you have a test

There are two types of test available for COVID-19: viral test and antibody test. A viral test is used to diagnose a normal infection, while antibody tests are used to detect a past infection.

Tests are available nationwide at most local or state health departments, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies. Some states also currently offer drive-thru tests and a 24-hour emergency test when necessary.

We all have an important role to play in preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The best way to reduce your risk of contracting, or spreading, this new coronavirus is to use personal hygiene and physical speed.

This means following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and being aware of your own health and testing status.

It’s also important to stay informed of current and updated COVID-19 news – you can keep up to date with Healthline’s live coronavirus updates here.

CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the new coronavirus

Below you will find some CDC guidance recommended to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often. Washing your hands after being public, handling impersonal items, and eating before can keep you safe.
  • Keep your distance from others. When in public or around people who are not in your home, avoid close contact by keeping 6 feet (2 meters) apart when possible.
  • Put on a face mask. Wearing a face mask can prevent the spread of the virus if you are ill and reduce your risk of catching the virus if others around you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. Measures applied during the flu season should also be used for COVID-19 – wash your hands frequently, remove lumps properly, and always cover your cough and sneeze.
  • Keep your area clean. Frequent cleaning and disinfection of both personal and public areas, such as desks, door handles, countertops and more, can help reduce your exposure to the virus.

According to the CDC, in December 2020, an emergency use license was granted for a vaccine from Pfizer and approval for a vaccine from Moderna is expected to follow.

It may take months for most people to be vaccinated, but treatment options are also available.

The standard treatment recommendation for mild cases of COVID-19 is recovery at home. In more severe cases, some medical treatments can be used, such as:

  • antivirals (such as remdesivir and favipiravir)
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • convalescent plasma medicine
  • immune modulators
  • stem cells
  • other experimental therapies

As the COVID-19 condition continues to improve, so do new treatment options to help fight the disease.

Many symptoms of COVID-19 are common among people who have developed the disease. However, research has suggested that some people may experience other unusual symptoms.

In two recent case studies, persistent hiccups were the only external sign of the new coronavirus. While this indicates that hiccups may be a potential symptom of COVID-19, more research on this rare side effect is needed.