“COVID tongue” and mouth ulcers may need to be included in what could become a vast list of symptoms of the coronavirus, a British researcher says.
Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, says one in five people with COVID-19 are presenting with less common symptoms such as skin rashes not on lists published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health entities.
Spector, an investigator of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study that encourages Britons to report symptoms via an app, says a swollen or discolored tongue is another manifestation he has been seeing.
“Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers,” Spector tweeted last month.
More recently, Spector tweeted a photo of a 32-year-old man whose symptoms include macroglossia (enlarged tongue).
“Specialists can’t find another cause,” Spector tweeted. “Is enlarged tongue common?”
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And is COVID tongue really a thing?
“Yes the data from our zoe symptom app suggests Covid tongue it is real,” Spector said in an email to USA TODAY. “But probably rare, affecting less than 1 in 100 people.”
The CDC, on its website, lists COVID symptoms as muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. But the agency adds that its list “does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.”
A report published in the British Journal of Dermatology studied more than 600 Spanish COVID-19 patients. It found that “oral cavity” problems in about 12% of them. About of third of those presented with swollen or sore tongues.
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Spector believes the real takeaway from his studies is that the virus has a myriad of manifestations.
“One in five people with COVID still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official (symptom) list,” Spector recently tweeted. “If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home!”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID tongue may be a rare symptom of the coronavirus