During the current time when the world is grappling with coronavirus pandemic, you need to be extra cautious about your health. Even slight fever and breathlessness should not be overlooked as they may be a sign of the COVID-19 infection, about which scientists are discovering new facts every other week.Also Read - Justin Trudeau Urges Canadians to Continue Taking COVID-19 Pandemic Seriously

Recently, doctors at the University Hospital of Pisa, Italy, have found that patients affected by the novel coronavirus are experiencing painful swelling of the thyroid gland which is causing severe neck pain. According to them, this is a rare complication of COVID-19 in which the virus triggers an inflammatory condition called subacute thyroiditis. Also Read - Maharashtra News: COVID-19 Tally Crosses 41,000 With 64 Deaths; Mumbai Alone Has 25,500 Cases

Doctors in Italy discovered about this new complication of coronavirus after an 18-year-old woman was discharged from a hospital post her successful treatment of COVID19 disease. However, a few days later she started complaining about experiencing the additional symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Her heart rate had increased and she was suffering from thyroid and neck pain. Also Read - Japan Lifts COVID-19 State of Emergency For 3 Prefectures

Notably, subacute thyroiditis affects your thyroid, a gland that is responsible for the secretion of important hormones linked to regulation of metabolism and conversion of food into energy. They also control your emotions including fear, pleasure, excitement etc. People suffering from subacute thyroiditis either develop hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Some of the common symptoms of both the conditions include fever, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, weakness etc. If left untreated, subacute thyroiditis can cause permanent complications.

Hyperthyroidism is characterised by overactive thyroid glands that shows symptoms including anxiety, sudden weight loss, tremors, concentration problem, diarrhea irregular heart beat etc.

On the other hand hypothyroidism means under-active thyroid glands. This condition is characterised by signs and symptoms like hair loss, depression, constipation, cold intolerance, heavy menstrual periods etc.

According to the American Thyroid Association, around 5 per cent of patients suffering from subacute thyroiditis develop permanent hypothyroidism. Therefore, timely diagnosis and treatment is necessary.