Could COVID-19 Variants Be Changing Symptoms? Researchers Report ‘Covid Tongue’

Could COVID-19 Variants Be Changing Symptoms? Researchers Report ‘Covid Tongue’

It has been over a year since people with COVID-19 began displaying symptoms of fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. While these signs are still pretty much the norm, according to experts, healthcare professionals have subsequently reported weird and troublesome symptoms of the disease.

According to Vox, Tim Spector, a professor or genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, began tracking unusual symptoms on a COVID-19 Symptom Study app that he helped create. He got deluged by people with the virus posting photos of their fuzzy, yellow-white tongues. Spector dubbed the phenomenon “COVID tongue.”

“It’s a strange phenomenon that no other doctor thought was related,” he said, according to Vox.

Many dermatologists said they were inundated with COVID-19 patients suffering from “Covid toes,” painful, red lesions caused by the disease, according to The New York Times.

Immunologists suggest that as new variants enter the scene, the symptoms of COVID-19 may change so doctors have to be vigilant and look for unusual signs that can signal the disease.

“I think the lesson is unusual symptoms can come out of the blue with no clear explanation,” said Dr. Andrew Chan, an epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who was a collaborator with Spector in designing the symptom study app.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the most common symptoms of COVID-19 which include fever of chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle aches among others.

A Chicago health network found “neurological manifestations” in 80% of patients. According to Eat This, Not That!, and several other atypical signs of the disease have been reported.

Myalgias, or aches and pains in muscles and ligaments, was observed in 44.8% of patients, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

According to Hartford HealthCare, 37.7% of COVID-19 patients experienced violent headaches before other symptoms of the disease appeared. It is the fifth most common symptom of COVID-19 after fever, cough, muscle aches and trouble breathing, say experts.

Dizziness was another symptom published in a study that appeared in the Annals of Neurology. According to Topeka ENT, “COVID-19 causes dizziness and other symptoms related to the nervous system because the virus wears on the heart and lungs, making it difficult for oxygen to get to the brain.” Research shows that 29.7% of patients surveyed experienced this symptom.

Other weird symptoms reported include dysgeusia, or sudden loss of taste, which affects 15.9% of victims and anosmia, that alters the sense of smell and was found in 11.4% of patients.

According to The Hospitalist, skin manifestations were also observed in one-fifth of a group of patients with COVID-19 in the Alessandro Manzoni Hospital in Lecco, in northern Italy.

Using data from the COVID-19 symptom tracking app, the researchers discovered that people who had clusters of symptoms were more prone to long-term and severe illness.

For example, Dr. Chan said that people who presented with a cluster of symptoms that included fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, and loss of smell seem to be the individuals who developed long COVID-19.

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