Oral Indicators Of COVID-19 Before General Symptoms Begin

Guidance from the World Health Organization lists the three most common symptoms of COVID-19 as being fever, a dry cough and tiredness. The oral cavity is implicated in some of the additional symptoms that the public health agency advises to watch for—such as loss of taste or smell—but it currently does not mention further oral manifestations.

Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, has been drawing attention to symptoms of COVID-19 that present in the mouth, such as geographic tongue. He says that those suffering from “strange symptoms” like COVID tongue should stay home, even if the symptoms are not included in official lists provided by health authorities. Spector tweeted in January: “One in five people with COVID still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official [Public Health England] list—such as skin rashes.” He said he was seeing an increasing number of examples of COVID tongue and other strange mouth ulcers. “If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home,” he emphasised.

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