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DNA Explainer: What is COVID tongue and what are its symptoms?

We all know the most prominent symptoms of COVD-19 which include fever, fatigue, dry cough and loss of smell but there are numerous others that could also be a sign of the disease.

Now, a new rare and strange symptom has emerged dubbed 'COVID tongue'. It is a 'possible' symptom of the disease, a latest study has found. According to a research letter published in the British Journal of Dermatology, a significant number of COVID-19 patients are experiencing bumps on their tongue, along with inflammation and swelling. But what is it?

All about COVID tongue

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicina (AAOM), COVID tongue is an inflammatory disorder that usually appears on the top and sides of the tongue.

In COVID tongue, your body fails to produce saliva that protects your mouth from bad bacteria. This may lead to feeling dryness or stickiness in your mouth. People with this symptom may also find it difficult to chew food and to speak.

However, it's not entirely clear what specifically causes Covid tongue or any other changes to the mouth.

Professor Tim Spector, an expert in genetic epidemiology at King's College London took to Twitter and wrote, "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!"

What does COVID tongue look like?

Your tongue may start to appear white and patchy, according to scientists.

Patients have also reported an unusually dry mouth and subsequent fungal infection.

Covid tongue could also be accompanied by a change to the tongue's sensation, as well as muscle pain while chewing and persistent ulcers.

What causes COVID tongue?

"Your cells contain enzymes called ACE receptors, which SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, latch onto. From there, the virus gets into your cells, replicates, and makes you sick," Dr Rajeev Fernando, MD, an infectious disease physician working in field hospitals nationwide, told a website 'Health'.

"There are a lot of ACE receptors in the tongue, so the virus concentrates very heavily in this region. In the tongue, there can be a lot of COVID. And that can lead to symptoms like tongue bumps and tongue swelling," he said.

Common symptoms of COVID-19?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists out a range of the most common symptoms of the disease, which include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body ache, headaches, new loss of taste and smell and sore throat among others.

Source : DNA India

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