Due to COVID-19 being a relatively new virus, which researchers are continuing to investigate, many questions and theories are still being presented. Questions such as how exactly the virus spreads, why some people become far sicker than others and why some show few or no symptoms of being infected at all remain.
Currently, the main symptoms of COVID-19 to look out for according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, and diarrhoea.
However, the CDC also notes these symptoms are not all the possible symptoms to look out for as many COVID-19 patients have reported unusual symptoms and sensations warning of an infection.
Some of the other symptoms being reported are in fact downright bizarre ranging from swollen or patchy tongues, tingling sensations and burning hands and feet.
A team of researchers in Madrid are adding some more unusual symptoms to their official list of COVID-19 signs after examining 666 infected adult patients last April.
The researchers noted one in four of these patients reportedly noticed what is being dubbed COVID tongue with issues such as swollen and inflamed tongues with indentations on the side, small bumps or patchy areas on the tongue and swelling of the mouth or sores.
British Dental Association spokesman Professor Damian Walmsley said sore patches are often only an indication that a person is run down, and their immune system isn’t at its best.
Professor Walmsley said: “It could also occur in those who have been taking antibiotics or using asthma inhalers.”
Single white patches on the tongue, however, “can be a bit more worrying” according to the Professor as there’s a small chance it could indicate oral cancer.
A localised white patch or red bump that’s been there for more than three weeks should be checked out as soon as possible by your GP or dentist, the expert said.
Experts warn if you develop Covid tongue along with any of the three most important coronavirus symptoms, you should get tested for Covid straight away.
On top of Covid tongue, one in 10 of patients have also reported suffering burning sensations in their hands and feet, hives, or other painful swelling in those extremities.
A research team presented their findings as part of a research letter published in the British Journal of Dermatology last September.
They cautioned that the patients analysed in this study were all adults with COVID-19 pneumonia, so these findings should not be applied to children or asymptomatic individuals.
These symptoms should also not be considered a diagnostic tool for the coronavirus.
British researcher Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, also tweeted about COVID tongue earlier this month. “Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers,” he wrote.
“If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home.”
He also said that one in five COVID-19 patients show “fewer common symptoms” like skin rashes.
“Fizzing” has been another one, which describes “electric,” “tingling” or “burning” sensations that some coronavirus patients reported.
While researchers haven’t determined the cause of such strange symptoms just yet, one theory is that “the immune system is just having a very hyperactive response to this coronavirus,” as Dr Purvi Parikh, a paediatric allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health, told MarketWatch.
“A lot of the damage the virus causes are not really the infection itself; it’s how your immune system reacts to it,” he said.
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