The man’s case study is subject to further evaluation. Yet, even if shocking, it could be possible that hiccups come up as in a way when the virus starts to attack the vital organs.
Right now, the man’s presentation of persistent hiccups has been labelled ‘rare’. However, the reason hiccups happen is when something obstructs the muscle which regulates breathing function- in this case, the deadly SARS-COV-2 virus.
Hiccups happen when there’s a spasm in the diaphragm. Irritation in the phrenic nerve, that passes along from the neck to the diaphragm causes contractions, which, in turn, leads to the particular ‘hic’ sound sensation experienced with hiccups.
It should also be noted that the novel coronavirus is already known to be quite lethal for the respiratory system and induce complications like shortness or difficulty in breathing. Hiccups, thus, could be a strange side-effect to be warned about.
Interestingly, in the past, hiccups have also been associated with infections like the flu and tuberculosis.