80 percent of COVID-19 patients have vitamin D deficiency

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The research team also found that variations in genes related to SARS-CoV-2 infection may be associated with severe COVID-19 that requires hospitalisation. "Ongoing observational studies are evaluating the role of vitamin D in preventing and treating COVID-19", the CDC notes.

Dermatologists who conducted the study fear the cases they have witnessed are "just the tip of the iceberg" and that it is in fact a common presentation of the coronavirus.

Covid-19 researchers have found a new symptom called Covid toes, in which coronavirus positive patients may get their toes red, swollen, and eventually purple, as per media reports. "In the absence of an efficient approach for identification of infections without regard to symptoms, these findings suggest that prompt adoption of isolation measures as soon as a person feels ill might reduce the probability of household transmission", the scientists wrote in the study.

The study also found that infected men were more deficient in vitamin D levels than the female counterparts.

"We encourage clinicians taking care of patients with COVID-19 to ask about and evaluate any skin symptoms".

The rationale for using vitamin D is based largely on immunomodulatory effects that could potentially protect against COVID-19 infection or decrease the severity of illness. "In particular, we saw that with chilblains, also known as Covid toes, where they've been having skin symptoms for more than 60 days".

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"These kinds of results are informing us about the timing of the benefit", said Dr. Myron Cohen, a University of North Carolina virologist who advises the government on COVID-19 treatments.

Despite its importance, vitamin D deficiency is common, with one study from 2011 estimating that 41.6 percent of USA adults are deficient. "This data adds to our knowledge about how COVID-19 can affect multiple different organ systems, even after patients have recovered from their acute infection", said Freeman in a press release about the new study.

"There are numerous pieces of evidence in the literature that support the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections, including viral infections", Hernandez said in an email to CTVNews.ca on Sunday.

Vitamin D helps in promoting bone health and boosts the immunity system, it is usually produced naturally by our bodies when we expose ourselves to sunlight. This finding underscores the need for people to quarantine if they've had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the authors said.

In addition to not establishing a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and the severity of COVID-19, including mortality, the study's authors also acknowledged their research doesn't show that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for contracting the disease. It also impacts the immune system and has been linked to maintaining a healthy growth rate.

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