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Mouth ulcers join ‘COVID tongue’ as new symptom

‘COVID tongue’ is a new COVID-19 symptom, along with mouth ulcers. Here’s what we know

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Katie Ramirez, left, watches as her mother, Claudia Campos, swabs the mouth of her daughter, Hailey, for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. Most of California entered a new lockdown this week in an effort to curb spiraling coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Katie Ramirez, left, watches as her mother, Claudia Campos, swabs the mouth of her daughter, Hailey, for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. ‘COVID tongue’ is a new coronavirus symptom, along with mouth ulcers.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

A British researcher recently suggested that two new COVID-19 symptoms — “COVID tongue” and mouth ulcers — may need to be added to health officials’ lists of coronavirus symptoms, USA Today reports.

What’s going on?

Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said 1 in 5 people are showing these less common symptoms of COVID-19, which also don’t appear on guidelines or lists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The symptoms include a swollen or discolored tongue, as well as ulcers on the mouth.
  • “Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers,” Spector tweeted.

How rare is it?

Spector told USA Today that these symptoms are rare. In fact, he said less than 1 in 100 people suffer from “COVID tongue.”

Spector said about 35% of COVID-19 patients have had nonclassical symptoms in the first three days of infection, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • “It’s a good reminder that there are so many different manifestations of this virus rather than just the classical ones,” Spector told NBC News.

What are the most common symptoms?

The most common COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion.
  • Runny nose.
  • Stomach issues.