New Coronavirus Concern? Reports of Fuzzy Yellow-White 'COVID Tongue'


Health officials are still learning about the effects and signs of COVID-19 and there are reports of a possible new issue linked to the virus - "COVID tongue."

Like "COVID Toes", reports of the virus affecting patients' tongues is yet another surprising reported symptom of the sometimes-deadly virus. Vox reports that King’s College molecular epidemiology professor Tim Spector has been getting reports from COVID patients who are experiencing mouth ulcers, which he dubbed "COVID tongue."

He explains the ulcers are yellow-white in color and present as a fuzzy coating on the tongue.

“It came about because people sent me images of their tongue,” he told Vox. “I posted them and then people started ... realizing that’s what they had originally when they had COVID. It’s a strange phenomenon that no doctor thought was related."

In January, he shared a photo of tongue cover in a white substance, writing, "One in five people with Covid still presents 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!"

"COVID tongue" has not been added to the official list of symptoms for the virus.  Andrew Chan, a professor of immunology and infectious disease at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and someone who worked with Professor Spector, believes the issue is something health officials need to be mindful of. “I think the lesson is unusual symptoms can come out of the blue with no clear explanation... It has to be on every health care provider’s mind," he told Vox.

The CDC currently says the most common signs and symptoms of COVID are: 

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or have been exposed to the virus, contact your healthcare provider about getting tested and what steps to take to isolate yourself from others.

Watch: COVID-19 Turns Breast Milk Green?

Watch: How COVID-19 Can Affect Your Eyesight

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