April 21, 2020
Crown Point, IN — Podiatric physician and forensic podiatrist Dr. Michael Nirenberg launches COVID-19 Foot Registry (www.CovidFootRegistry.com) to help understand the effects of the virus on the feet, and assist in developing new treatments to fight the disease.
Among the specialists assisting in this effort is Congressman and podiatrist Brad Wenstrup. Wenstrup serves as the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 2nd congressional district and he is one of the few representatives in Washington with medical expertise.
“In this unprecedented health crisis, all of us must do what we can,” Dr. Michael Nirenberg, the Registry’s founder and director said. “This Registry may, in a small way, lead to knowledge that helps us fight this disease. But, even if no relationship between COVID-19 and our feet is found, that may be useful to know too.”
Early anecdotal reports suggest COVID-19 occurs in the feet and in particular has been found in the feet of children and young people prior to any other symptoms appearing. These foot issues occur as skin manifestations, such as rashes, redness, irritation and bruising-like lesions. These skin issues may be painless or painful, and may itch or cause burning. Identifying COVID-19 in people early-on could allow for prompt quarantine and potentially, initiation of treatment.
Italian dermatologist Francesco Mazzotta published one of first cases of COVID-19 in the feet. The disease occurred in a 13 year old boy. He had skin manifestations on his foot prior to any other COVID-19 symptoms and two days after these photographs were taken the child tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Mazzotta has allowed the use of these additional photographs, not published in his case study, to alert people to COVID-19 problems in the feet.
The Registry will collect data and information and intends to publish and disseminate the findings. The Advisory Board has volunteered its time. The Registry is currently funded by Dr. Nirenberg’s podiatry practice. “I initially hoped the government or a big organization would put up a foot registry, but that wasn’t happening. I didn’t feel this should wait. This is too important.”
The Registry can be accessed at www.CovidFootRegistry.com