What Is COVID Tongue and Do You Have It?
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a number of different symptoms that we were supposed to watch for as an indicator as to whether we'd been infected with the virus.
From the obvious ones like excessive fever, fatigue, and difficulty breathing to the unusual like loss of taste and smell, and even hiccups.
Now, a new study says a sign of infection could have been right inside your mouth the whole time.
Heath says it's called 'COVID tongue' and according to a recent research letter published in the British Journal of Dermatology, a significant number of coronavirus patients are experiencing it.
The study of more than 600 patients at a field hospital in Spain showed that more than 45 percent reported unexplained bumps on their bodies, along with inflammation and swelling and that in 25 percent of the cases, those symptoms were confined to their mouths.
Those patients reported a loss of taste and a burning sensation on their tongues.
The explanation for what causes the ailment? According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Rajeev Fernando, our 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. 'There are a lot of ACE receptors in the tongue, so the virus concentrates very heavily in this region,' he says. 'In the tongue, there can be a lot of COVID.'
Some medical experts speculate that the instances of COVID tongue are being overlooked because doctors are focusing more on other areas of the body like the lungs, heart, and stomach and that mask-wearing patients aren't having their mouths checked.