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Four strange COVID symptoms you might not have heard about

From skin lesions to hearing loss, unusual symptoms can be troubling for COVID patients.

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Well over two years into the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of COVID cases continue to be recorded around the world every day.

With the rise of new variants, the symptoms of COVID have also evolved. Initially, the NHS regarded a fever, cough, and loss or change in sense of smell or taste as the main symptoms which could indicate COVID infection. Now, recently updated NHS guidance suggests also looking out for symptoms including a sore throat, blocked or runny nose, and a headache.

But what about some of the more obscure signs and symptoms? From skin lesions to hearing loss, emerging data is increasingly showing us that COVID symptoms can go beyond what you might expect from a regular cold or a flu.


Read more: What are the symptoms of omicron?


1. Skin lesions

COVID-related skin complaints are not uncommon. In fact, a UK study published in 2021 found that one in five patients only exhibited a rash and no other symptom.

COVID can affect the skin in a variety of ways. Some people may experience a widespread maculopapular rash (flat or raised areas of discoloured skin), while others might present with hives (raised areas of itchy skin).

COVID toes”, meanwhile, describes red, swollen or blistering skin lesions on the toes. This symptom is more commonly seen in adolescents or young adults with mild or no symptoms.

Most COVID skin lesions tend to go away after a few days, or in some instances a few weeks, without the need for any specialised treatment. If the skin is very itchy or painful though, you can consult a GP or dermatologist, who may recommend treatment such as a cream.

COVID toes.
‘COVID toes’ are characterised by red, swollen or blistering skin lesions. Ternavskaia Olga Alibec/Shutterstock

2. COVID nails

During an infection, including that of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19), our bodies naturally try to express that they’re under an unusual amount of stress. They can do this in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, including through our nails. “COVID nails” encompasses changes such as:

  • Beau’s lines – horizontal indentations that occur at the base of the fingernails or toenails when there’s a temporary interruption in nail growth due to a physical stress on the body

  • Mees’ lines – horizontal white lines that appear on the nails, thought to be caused by the abnormal production of proteins in the nail bed

  • a red half-moon pattern which develops at the base of the fingernails (the mechanism underlying this change is unclear).

The data on how many people experience COVID nails is limited, but it’s been estimated it could be up to 1-2% of COVID patients.

COVID nails tend to appear in the days or weeks following COVID infection as the nails grow. Although they might be painful initially, the vast majority tend to return to normal over a few weeks.

Notably, while these changes may be indicative of COVID, they can also be caused by different things. For example, Beau’s lines can be secondary to chemotherapy or another infection.

3. Hair loss

Hair loss is perhaps an understated symptom of COVID-19, usually occurring one month or more after the acute infection. In one study of almost 6,000 people who had previously had COVID, hair loss was the most common post-COVID symptom, reported by 48% of participants. It was especially prevalent among people who had severe COVID and white women.

It is thought that this results from the hair “sensing” the stress in the body, leading to excess shedding. Indeed, hair loss can also be triggered by other stressful events, such as childbirth. The good news is that with time the hair grows back to normal.

4. Hearing loss and tinnitus

As with other viral infections, such as the flu and measles, COVID has been found to affect the cells in the inner ear, with hearing loss or tinnitus (a constant ringing sensation in the ear) sometimes following infection.

In a review study that included 560 participants, hearing loss occurred in 3.1% of patients with COVID, while tinnitus occurred in 4.5%.

A man touches his ear, indicating pain.
COVID has been associated with hearing loss and tinnitus. DimaBerlin/Shutterstock

In one study of 30 people who had been diagnosed with COVID, and 30 who hadn’t – none with pre-existing hearing problems – the researchers found that COVID was associated with damage to the inner ear which led to hearing impairment at higher frequencies. While for the vast majority of patients this resolves on its own, cases of permanent hearing loss linked to COVID have been reported.

Why all these symptoms?

We don’t understand exactly what causes these symptoms, but we know the most important part is played by a process called inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s natural defence mechanism against pathogens; SARS-CoV-2 in this case. It involves the production of “cytokines” – proteins which are important in controlling the activity of immune cells.

Excessive production of these proteins, as a part of the inflammation triggered by COVID infection, can cause sensory deficits, which potentially explain why some people are presenting with hearing loss and tinnitus. It can also disrupt the capillary networks, very tiny blood vessels which provide blood to organs including the ears, skin and nails.


Read more: Four COVID-related skin complaints everyone should look out for


The symptoms we’ve described here are not exclusive to COVID infection. That said, if you notice any of these symptoms, it would be appropriate to consider a COVID test, especially if you’re in an area where COVID is circulating.

You can also contact your GP, particularly if the symptoms are getting worse or causing you significant discomfort. At the same time, you can be reassured that most of these symptoms are likely to improve with time.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Spread & Containment

Lab, crab and robotic rehab

I was in Berkeley a couple of months back, helping TechCrunch get its proverbial ducks in a row before our first big climate event (coming in a few weeks,…

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I got previews of a number of projects I hope to share with you in the newsletter soon, but one that really caught my eye was FogROS, which was just announced as part of the latest ROS (robot operating system) rollout. Beyond a punny name that is simultaneously a reference to the cloud element (fog/cloud — not to mention the fact that the new department has killer views of San Francisco and frequent visitor, Karl) and problematic French cuisine, there’s some really compelling potential here.

I’ve been thinking about the potential impact of cloud-based processing quite a bit the last several years, independent of my writing about robots. Specifically, a number of companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Google) have been betting big on cloud gaming. What do you do when you’ve seemingly pushed a piece of hardware to its limit? If you’ve got low enough latency, you can harness remote servers to do the heavy lifting. It’s something that’s been tried for at least a decade, to varying effect.

Image Credits: ROS

Latency is, of course, a major factor in gaming, where being off by a millisecond can dramatically impact the experience. I’m not fully convinced that experience is where it ought to be quite yet, but it does seem the tech has graduated to a point where off-board processing makes practical sense for robotics. You can currently play a console game on a smartphone with one of those services, so surely we can produce smaller, lighter-weight and lower-cost robots that rely on a remote server to complete resource-intensive tasks like SLAM processing.

The initial application will focus on AWS, with plans to reach additional services like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Watch this space. There are many reasons to be excited. Honestly, there’s a lot to be excited about in robotics generally right now. This was one of the more fun weeks in recent memory.

V Bionic's exoskeleton glove shown without its covering.

Image Credits: V Bionic

Let’s start with the ExoHeal robotic rehabilitation gloves. The device, created by Saudi Arabian V Bionic, nabbed this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup. The early-stage team is part of a proud tradition of healthcare exoskeletons. In this case, it’s an attempt to rehab the hand following muscle and tendon injuries. Team leader Zain Samdani told TechCrunch:

Flexor linkage-driven movement gives us the flexibility to individually actuate different parts of each finger (phalanges) whilst keeping the device portable. We’re currently developing our production-ready prototype that utilizes a modular design to fit the hand sizes of different patients.

Image Credits: Walmart

This is the third week in a row Walmart gets a mention here. First it was funding for GreyOrange, which it partnered with in Canada. Last week we noted a big expansion of the retail giant’s deal with warehouse automation firm, Symbotic. Now it’s another big expansion of an existing deal — this time dealing with the company’s delivery ambitions.

Like Walmart’s work with robotics, drone delivery success has been…spotty, at best. Still, it’s apparently ready to put its money where its mouth is on this one, with a deal that brings DroneUp delivery to 34 sites across six U.S. states. Quoting myself here:

The retailer announced an investment in the 6-year-old startup late last year, following trial deliveries of COVID-19 testing kits. Early trials were conducted in Bentonville, Arkansas. This year, Arizona, Florida, Texas and DroneUp’s native Virginia are being added to the list. Once online, customers will be able to choose from tens of thousands of products, from Tylenol to hot dog buns, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Freigegeben für die Berichterstattung über das Unternehemn Wingcopter bis zum 25.01.2026. Mit Bitte um Urhebervermerk v.l.: Jonathan Hesselbarth, Tom Plümmer und Ansgar Kadura von Wingcopter GmbH. Image Credits: © Jonas Wresch / KfW

There are still more question marks around this stuff than anything, and I’ve long contended that drone delivery makes the most sense in remote and otherwise hard to reach areas. That’s why something like this Wingcopter deal is interesting. Over the next five years, the company plans to bring 12,000 of its fixed-wing UAVs to 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. It will cover spots that have traditionally struggled with infrastructural issues that have made it difficult to deliver food and medical supplies through more traditional means.

“With the looming food crisis on the African continent triggered by the war in Ukraine, we see great potential and strong social impact that drone-delivery networks can bring to people in all the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by getting food to where it is needed most,” CEO Tom Plümmer told TechCrunch. “Especially in remote areas with weak infrastructure and those areas that are additionally affected by droughts and other plagues, Wingcopter’s delivery drones will build an air bridge and provide food from the sky on a winch to exactly where it is needed.”

Legitimately exciting stuff, that.

Image Credits: Dyson

In more cautiously optimistic news, Dyson dropped some interesting news this week, announcing that it has been (and will continue) pumping a lot of money into robotic research. Part of the rollout includes refitting an aircraft hangar at Hullavington Airfield, a former RAF station in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England that the company purchased back in 2016.

Some numbers from the company:

Dyson is halfway through the largest engineering recruitment drive in its history. Two thousand people have joined the tech company this year, of which 50% are engineers, scientists, and coders. Dyson is supercharging its robotics ambitions, recruiting 250 robotics engineers across disciplines including computer vision, machine learning, sensors and mechatronics, and expects to hire 700 more in the robotics field over the next five years. The master plan: to create the UK’s largest, most advanced, robotics center at Hullavington Airfield and to bring the technology into our homes by the end of the decade.

The primary project highlighted is a robot arm with a number of attachments, including a vacuum and a human-like robot hand, which are designed to perform various household tasks. Dyson has some experience building robots, primarily through its vacuums, which rely on things like computer vision to autonomously navigate. Still, I say “cautiously optimistic,” because I’ve seen plenty of non-robotics companies showcase the technology as more of a vanity project. But I’m more than happy to have Dyson change my mind.

Image Credits: Hyundai

Hyundai, of course, has been quite aggressive in its own robotics dreams, including its 2020 acquisition of Boston Dynamics. The carmaker this week announced that part of its massive new $10 billion investment plans will include robotics, with a focus of actually bringing some of its far-out concepts to market.

Another week, another big round for logistics/fulfillment robotics, as Polish firm Nomagic raised $22 million to expand its offerings. The company’s primary offering is a pick and place arm that can move and sort small goods. Khosla Ventures and Almaz Capital led the round, which also featured European Investment Bank, Hoxton Ventures, Capnamic Ventures, DN Capital and Manta Ray.

Amazon Astro with periscope camera

The periscope camera pops out and extends telescopically, enabling Astro to look over obstacles and on counter tops. A very elegant design choice. Image Credits: Haje Kamps for TechCrunch

We finally got around to reviewing Amazon’s limited-edition home robot, Astro, and Haje’s feelings were…mixed:

It’s been fun to have Astro wandering about my apartment for a few days, and most of the time I seemed to use it as a roving boom box that also has Alexa capabilities. That’s cute, and all, but $1,000 would buy Alexa devices for every thinkable surface in my room and leave me with enough cash left over to cover the house in cameras. I simply continue to struggle with why Astro makes sense. But then, that’s true for any product that is trying to carve out a brand new product category.

A tiny robot crab scuttles across the frame. Image Credits: Northwestern University

And finally, a tiny robot crab from Northwestern University. The little guy can be controlled remotely using lasers and is small enough to sit on the side of a penny. “Our technology enables a variety of controlled motion modalities and can walk with an average speed of half its body length per second,” says lead researcher, Yonggang Huang. “This is very challenging to achieve at such small scales for terrestrial robots.”

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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Economics

Pandemic-related stressors in pregnant women may impact their babies before they’re born

Prolonged levels of stress and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to altering key features of fetal brain development — even if the…

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Prolonged levels of stress and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to altering key features of fetal brain development — even if the mother was not infected by the virus. This is what a study published in Communications Medicine suggests after following more than 200 pregnant women. The study, led by Children’s National Hospital experts, emphasized the need for more scientific inquiry to shed light on the long-term neurodevelopmental consequences of their findings and COVID-19 exposures on fetal brain development.

Credit: Children’s National Hospital

Prolonged levels of stress and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to altering key features of fetal brain development — even if the mother was not infected by the virus. This is what a study published in Communications Medicine suggests after following more than 200 pregnant women. The study, led by Children’s National Hospital experts, emphasized the need for more scientific inquiry to shed light on the long-term neurodevelopmental consequences of their findings and COVID-19 exposures on fetal brain development.

“Understanding how contemporary stressors may influence fetal brain development during pregnancy has major implications for basic science and informing public policy initiatives,” said Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., chief and director of the Developing Brain Institute at Children’s National and senior author of the study. “With this work, we are able to show there’s a problem, it’s happening prenatally, and we can use this model to start exploring how we can reduce stress in moms and support unborn babies.”

To better understand the effects of environmental exposures on the fetus during pregnancy, further confirmation of the team’s latest findings is needed by ruling out other possibilities, such as maternal nutrition, financial security and genetic factors.

The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on fetal brain development remains vastly understudied. The neurologic underpinnings of fetal development that turn into psycho-behavioral disorders later in life, including bipolar disorder, mood disorder or anxiety disorder, remain complex and difficult to explain.

Among the 202 participants from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, 137 were part of the pre-pandemic cohort and 65 were part of the pandemic cohort.

Through advanced MRI imaging techniques and reconstruction of high-resolution 3D brain models, the researchers found a reduction of fetal white matter, hippocampal and cerebellar volumes and delayed brain gyrification in COVID-19 pandemic-era pregnancies. Validated maternal stress, anxiety and depression scales were also used to compare the scores between the two cohorts.

This study builds upon previous work from the Developing Brain Institute led by Limperopoulos, which discovered that anxiety in pregnant women appears to affect the brain development of their babies. Her team also found that maternal mental health, even in high socioeconomic status, alters the structure and biochemistry of the developing fetal brain, emphasizing the importance of mental health support for pregnant women.

“We’re looking at modifiable conditions,” said Limperopoulos. “What’s clear is the next frontier is intervening early to see how we can prevent or reduce stress in the mom’s current setting.”


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Science

Trading Penny Stocks & Using Volume Analysis To Find Stocks To Buy

How to find the most active penny stocks today.
The post Trading Penny Stocks & Using Volume Analysis To Find Stocks To Buy appeared first on Penny…

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Technical Data and Trading Charts can help determine the right price to sell or buy penny stocks. These penny stock chart patterns are beneficial for traders and investors alike if you know what you’re looking for. Quickly analyzing trading opportunities by watching any changing trends in share prices and trading volumes is critical for identifying entry targets. Today we’ll look more closely at trading volumes as a way to find penny stocks to buy.

Most Active Penny Stocks To Buy

This brings us to today’s focus: identifying potential in the most active penny stocks. The first thing to understand is what “most active” means. We’re referring to penny stocks with much higher or unusually high volume in most cases. This might mean that trading has increased in a particular penny stock and could signal either growing interest in the form of buying or declining interest in the form of heavy selling.

It’s essential to keep a close watch on technical signals and the level of volume in the market. For example, when trading volume decreases during a specific time frame (3-minute chart, for example), that could mean interest is drying up. You might miss this on a daily or hourly chart, but witnessing a trend like this early by paying attention to shorter time frames could help.

What Is A Penny Stock – Definition & More

In this case, the volume drying up could signal that bullish interest has stalled. If that ends up as the case, it could also give a green light for selling pressure in the form of profit-taking or shorting to take the stock lower.

Confirmations & Followthrough

In addition to overall volume, an unusual spike or drop in trading volume might not always indicate or confirm a directional move. For instance, there might be chances that penny stock trading activity shows a bullish spike, and in the next period (depending on chart time frames), it returns to the previous condition. This is where new or inexperienced traders can fall victim to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Are Penny Stocks Good For Beginners? [Answered]

The quick spike can entice traders to trade emotionally and want to “jump in before it runs.” Unfortunately, they learn a valuable lesson in waiting for follow-through in the stock. This is when an unusual spike in activity is confirmed when additional trading & volume candles continue the aggressive trend.

Basically, the first move (or big spike in volume) isn’t always the right move. A 3-minute candle might be bullish, but if the next few candles on the chart don’t have a similar or greater level of bullish volume, it lacks follow-through. The chances of an uptrend failing are generally higher in this instance.

Penny Stock Trading Volume & What To Look For

So, what can cause a spike in volume?:

  1. There could be an unexpected boom in trading volume due to penny stock news releases
    • Management changes
    • Corporate milestones
    • Oversight body news (FDA, Patents, etc.)
    • Industry presentations
    • Financial news
  2. There is an uptrend happening over a period of time
    • A gradual increase in trading volume could be caused by either rising or falling prices.
    • Industry momentum catalysts
    • Rumors
    • Social media-fueled trading  
  3. There is no ascending or descending movement in Trading Volume
    • Usually means uncertainty in the market
    • Potential bullish and bearish sentiment ahead of news or corporate filings
    • Channel trading can offer day traders opportunities to take advantage of a sideways trend
  4. Sudden decrease due to an unusual event.
    • A sudden dip in trading volume is occasional. This may take place when investors get scared of investing in penny stocks due to things like significant Company issues
    • Similar catalysts as with point #1 but more bearish outcomes than bullish 
  5. There is a downward trend over a period of time
    • This happens when the traders and investors do not take any more interest in a particular penny stock.
    • The market losing faith or a company constantly raising discounted money can be a root cause, among other things 

It’s also important to consider other indicators. Here’s an article to get you informed about different penny stock technical analyses: Technical Strategies To Find Top Penny Stocks.

high volume penny stocks

Making Your List Of High Volume Penny Stocks

It’s not unusual to see high-volume penny stocks within the same industry or sector. Retail traders will often identify one breakout stock and look for sympathy trades. Some of the more prevalent examples of this phenomenon came during the COVID pandemic and at the time when “meme stocks” began to captivate retail traders.

When the pandemic hit, plenty of trends sparked speculative trading action in the stock market. The “Great Toilet Paper Shortage” had traders hunting for paper goods stocks. Even if a company didn’t post news in years, it was a target if their “About” section had any mention of paper. We also saw plenty of vaccine stocks skyrocket. One of the most notable penny stocks, Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX), went on to explode to highs of more than $300 from price levels below $5 at the onset of the pandemic.

Penny Stocks & Frequently Asked Questions From New Traders

Then we saw meme stocks. Companies like AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), GameStop (NYSE: GME), Bed, Bath, & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), and many others took flight. While many had their time to shine, AMC and GME stocks have clearly become the forerunners of this market niche.

The critical thing to remember when making your list of penny stocks with high volume is your strategy. It’s great to see stocks make explosive moves. But if those moves are quicker than you’re prepared for, it could become a losing proposition. For this reason, perfect your trading style and choose high-volume penny stocks that fit your criteria. They don’t always need to be the 1-day movers. There are plenty of high-volume names that trade at consistently heightened levels. That’s something to be aware of when it comes time to putting together your watch list. Just know that this is just the beginning of your research! Check out PennyStocks.com’s Penny Stocks Basics section for more info if you’re new to trading.

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The post Trading Penny Stocks & Using Volume Analysis To Find Stocks To Buy appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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