Doctors in Bengaluru city have been observing a new COVID-19 symptom –dryness of the mouth or what the medical fraternity calls – the COVID tongue. Here, the patient does not exhibit any other COVID symptom except a dry and itchy mouth.
Dr GB Sattur, a member of the COVID task force told Bangalore Mirror that a 55-year-old man suffering from hypertension had approached him complaining of extreme dryness of the mouth and had ended up testing positive for COVID-19.
According to the report, Dr Sattur said that the man’s blood sugar level was normal. But since his erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels were quite high, and he complained of tiredness, the doctor suspected that this could be a symptom of COVID. Though the patient did not have any fever, he asked him take an RT PCR test, which turned out to be positive. He was then admitted to hospital and then recovered, said Dr Sattur.
Meanwhile, doctors are probing the reasons behind the emergence of new symptoms of the coronavirus infection. In Dr Sattur’s opinion, it could be due to the presence of newer variants like the UK, Brazil or even the double mutant which was first detected in India.
COVID tongue can be recognised by irritation, itching, a vague sensation of pain and extreme dryness of the mouth with rare occurrence of mouth ulcers. Then the patient might feel weakness without any fever.
Dr Sattur, a member of the Governing Council of Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubbali, advised that doctors should keep an eye on tongue complaints and not ignore them. “The government must do more genome sequencing to understand the variants better,” he suggested.