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‘COVID Tongue’ May Be a Symptom, Professor Says

photo of coronavirus tongue

Jan. 29, 20201 -- A professor in the United Kingdom says he’s finding more COVID-19 patients reporting oral problems, such as tongue discoloration and enlargement.

“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!” tweeted Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, who included one of the many tongue photos he receives daily.

“My mail is full of tongues each morning from people who had tongue problems that coincided with Covid symptoms like fever and fatigue - but baffled doctors. Happy to share so we all become experts …” he tweeted.

He said 35% of people have non-classic symptoms of COVID in the first 3 days, such as “skin rashes, covid toes and the 20+ symptoms of covid that go ignored.”

The CDC does not include swollen or discolored tongues as symptoms of COVID-19, but the list of symptoms has grown since the pandemic began.

“This is kind of in tune with all of the things about COVID. When it burst upon the scene, as I like to say figuratively, we opened up our medical textbooks to COVID, and there were only blank pages,” said William Schaffner, MD, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, according to NBC News.

“So since then, we've been filling in the blank pages lickety-split, and it may well be that this is part of the clinical syndrome that some patients have.”

NBC News said a study of Spanish COVID patients found a little more than 10% had some sort of oral problem, such as a swollen tongue or mouth ulcers.

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Sources

Twitter: @timspector, Jan. 13, 2021; Jan. 22, 2021.

NBC News: “What is COVID tongue? Researchers consider possible new coronavirus symptom.”

 

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