Medical practitioners have warned that the novel coronavirus may trigger priapism ― an erection lasting longer than four hours.
The revelation was made after a 62-year-old man from France suffered the painful condition while receiving care in the hospital for a severe bout of COVID-19.
His erection was reportedly caused by trapped blood in the penis, which was found to be full of blood clots when it was drained by medics.
Thrombosis or blood clotting has been reported as a dangerous complication in up to a third of coronavirus-infected patients.
Doctors say when clots block arteries or veins, the blockages can trigger fatal heart attacks and strokes leading to priapism.
According to Medical News Today, priapism is a prolonged and often painful erection of the penis. It causes blood in the penis to become trapped and unable to drain through the penile arteries.
Scientists disclosed that this is believed to be the first time priapism has been seen as a side effect of the coronavirus, which has so killed 500,000 people globally.
Daily Mail reports that the patient had left intensive care after spending two weeks on a ventilator, suggesting he has now recovered from COVID-19.
Doctors at Centre Hospitalier de Versailles in Le Chesnay, an area near Paris has chronicled the man’s ordeal in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.