Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Doctors continue to learn about more the scary and surprising symptoms of the coronavirus as the pandemic rages on, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The respiratory harm, as we all know, is very bad. But that's also what doctors and scientists were expecting to see when COVID-19 first emerged. They've also been taken aback by a raft of unexpected, harder-to-explain health effects.

  • In addition to coughing and a fever, potential symptoms are now believed to include, for some patients, a loss of smell, purple toes, pinkeye, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • And in addition to attacking patients' lungs, doctors now believe COVID-19 can cause strokes, kidney damage and problems with the immune system, and can weaken the muscles in the heart.
  • It also seems to be infecting more children than expected.

Between the lines: The virus appears to do major damage to blood cells, which likely helps explain why it's able to attack so many of the body's systems, and its damage to the heart in particular, the Post reports.

Related: Many doctors are now second-guessing the use of ventilators, because some coronavirus patients are able to function just fine even with oxygen levels so low that they should be unconscious, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Go deeper: The coronavirus is a moving target — and that has implications for a vaccine

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