At the CHC MontLégia Hospital in Liege, Belguim, an 81-year-old women who showed typical COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus via a skin sample, according to a study recently published in The Lancet.
The patient had a temperature of 102 and a generalized maculopapular rash. The standard nasal swab COVID-19 test came back negative. Two days later, doctors performed a 4 mm biopsy of her skin, and found that it tested positive for the virus. During the next two weeks, the patient’s skin condition improved. Six weeks later, an antibody test was performed and it came back negative.
“This case emphasizes the use of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of skin biopsy samples as an additional diagnostic tool,” write the researchers. “Helping to shed light on the actual prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population. Additionally, further studies are needed to understand to what extent and at what point during their disease course patients with COVID-19 actually develop immunity.”