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Know what is ‘COVID Tongue’; A new Coronavirus symptom

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Know what is ‘COVID Tongue’; A new Coronavirus symptom

New Delhi: Covid tongue and strange mouth ulcers are some of the new symptoms of coronavirus infection which are now developing in patients but aren’t listed on the official PHE index.

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As per the epidemiologist at King’s College London, Professor Tim Spector, “One in five people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official PHE list – such as skin rashes. Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers. If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home !,” he wrote on his Twitter handle along with a picture of a patient’s tongue coated with white patches.

The epidemiologist also claims to be observing an increasing number of COVID-19 patients suffering from unusual symptoms in their mouth, such as the coated tongue, patched tongue, or “COVID tongue” as he calls it.

As the symptoms of COVID-19 are increasing in its variety, this new symptom can cause an acute infection inside the mouth and form thick patches all over the tongue. However, it sounds scary but it’s a harmless condition and could resolve itself in a week. During this condition, a person loses his ability to taste and smell. These rashes are clinically known as enanthem, and it’s not surprising that they are showing up with COVID-19, said a U.S. dermatologist.

“An enanthem is a rash [small spots] on the mucous membranes,” explained Dr. Michele Green, who practices at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It is very common in patients with viral infections like chickenpox and hand, foot and mouth disease. It is characteristic of many viral rashes to affect mucous membranes.”

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As per a new Spanish study, which was published last year on July 15 in JAMA Dermatology, researchers of University Hospital Ramon y Cajal in Madrid examined 21 patients diagnosed in early April with COVID-19 and associated skin rashes. Of these patients, six patients had developed enanthem on the inside of their mouths. The affected patients ranged in age from 40 to 69, the team said, and four of the six were women.

The study showed that mouth rash appeared anywhere from two days before the onset of other COVID symptoms to 24 days after, with an average time of about 12 days after onset of symptoms. In most cases, the enanthem had no relation with patients on going medication, hence, it further strengthen the notion that it was illness with the new coronavirus causing the reddish spots to appear.

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As per medical officials, if someone develops a ‘COVID tongue’, along with other symptoms, it is important to get a proper diagnosis and medical checkup to ensure that they have contracted a virus or not.

Some of the most common signs of COVID-19 are:

  • Mild Fever/ High Temperature
  • Dry cough
  • Itchy/Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Heavy breathing/ resulting in shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

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