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‘Covid tongue’ becoming more widespread as coronavirus symptom

Epidemiologist Tim Spector said he is seeing increasing numbers of people reporting mouth symptoms due to Covid (Picture: Rex/Tim Spector)

An expert has told the public to look out for ‘strange symptoms’ such as ‘Covid tongue’ and unusual mouth ulcers because they could be a sign that you need to self-isolate.

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, said he is seeing increasing cases of people with coronavirus suffering with uncomfortable symptoms in their mouth – such as a coated tongue.

He said around one in five infected with the virus will show less common symptoms, as he urged people to stay at home even if they suffer with minor complaints that could be put down to another cause.

According to the NHS website, the three main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a continuous cough and loss or change to smell and taste.

Mr Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe Covid Symptom Study UK Infection Survey, wrote on Twitter: ‘One in five people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that dont get on the official PHE list – such as skin rashes [sic].

‘Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers.

The expert said to look out for ‘Covid tongue’ (Credits: Tim Spector/Twitter)

‘If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home!’

Alongside his tweet he shared an example of ‘Covid tongue’ which showed patchy chunks of thick white coating on a coronavirus sufferer’s tongue.

Public health physician Gabriel Scally said reported symptoms in the mouth have been linked to Covid-19 for some time.

She said the medical name for acute swelling of the tongue as part of a syndrome is called ‘glossitis’.

The president of epidemiology and public health at Royal Society of Medicine told The Sun: ‘It is such a problematic virus to treat as it produces effects in such a wide range of body systems.’

Some report having none of the three main symptoms of coronavirus, while others have suffered with extreme fatigue, brain fog, upset stomach, headaches and muscle pain.

The expert urged people to self-isolate if they feel ill in any way (Picture: ITV/Rex)

Others have struggled with Long Covid, which is believe to affect between 10-30% of people who catch the virus and have symptoms – it is defined as a symptomatic disease lasting longer than 12 weeks.

Patients typically have extreme fatigue, chest pain, breathlessness, muscle aches and brain fog, but there are many other reported symptoms. 

Labour MP Andrew Gwynne told the Commons today that he is still suffering with Long Covid after catching the virus in March, as he called on the government to better support people struggling with the long-term effects of the virus.

He said although there have been ‘real improvements’ in his condition, he said his short-term memory is ‘shot to pieces’ and continues to experience brain fog, triggering headaches, dizziness and vertigo.

The MP for Denton and Reddish said: ‘For the first seven months or so the exhaustion came back frequently and to the point where doing just simple tasks around the house brought me out in massive sweats like I’d run the London Marathon.

‘I had lots of dizzy spells, I’ve never had vertigo before this, and oh the brain fog – in a job where you have to be razor sharp, my short-term memory is shot to pieces. I’ve had to learn to pace myself, trying to push my limits would set me back. I still have to remind myself not to overdo it.’

A member of the medical team administers a COVID-19 vaccination shot (Picture: Getty)

Mr Gwynne argued the Department for Work and Pensions needs to do more to recognise long Covid when carrying out work capability assessments and other interviews.

He added: ‘I talk about the difficulties of me doing my job, but what about the mechanic, the builder, the emergency worker, the teacher, the nurse? People who don’t have the luxury of virtual participation and an efficient and brilliant office to hide deficiencies.

‘They’re left to struggle, make the most of it or lose their jobs.’

Health minister Nadine Dorries pointed out there are now 69 centres, with another 12 earmarked to launch this year, across England where patients are receiving assessment and treatment for Long Covid.

She added: ‘The NHS and wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease, the course of the Covid-19 virus – including symptoms, severity and duration – long-term effects and how best to support recovery.’

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