Do you have COVID tongue? This expert wants you to send him a picture

Emily Cleary
·3-min read
covid tongue
COVID tongue is just one of the symptoms Professor Tim Spector is highlighting as a warning sign of COVID (yahoo news uk/Getty/Tim Spector)

A health expert is urging coronavirus sufferers to submit pictures of COVID tongue and other gruesome side effects of the virus in order to raise awareness of symptoms.

Professor Tim Spector, head of the department of genetic epidemiology and leader of the COVID-19 symptom study app at King’s College University, London, made the request on Twitter.

He wrote: “Keep those #covidtongue pics coming- important to draw attention to these, skin rashes, covid toes and the 20+ symptoms of covid that go ignored. 35% of people have non-classic symptoms in the first three days when most infective.”

The only symptoms officially flagged by Public Health England (PHE) and the government are a continuous cough, high temperature, and loss of sense of taste or smell.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) website lists a fever, dry cough and tiredness as the most common symptoms of the virus.

Less common symptoms are listed as aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, and a rash on skin or discolouration of fingers or toes.

WHO flags difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure and loss of speech or movement as serious symptoms that require urgent medical attention.

COVID mouth - these pictures were sent to Professor Tim Spector when he asked for evidence of lesser known side effects of coronavirus (Twitter)
COVID mouth - these pictures were sent to Professor Tim Spector when he asked for evidence of lesser known side effects of coronavirus (Twitter)

Prof Spector’s COVID Symptom Study app, developed by ZOE and used by Kings College London for research, is being used by millions of people across Britain to report if they have COVID symptoms and if they have been tested for the disease.

It helps the experts identify symptoms that are common in people who have a positive COVID test result, as well as track the size of the outbreak.

Writing last week, Prof Spector highlighted the increasingly common ‘COVID tongue’.

Watch: COVID infections decrease but remain high

COVID mouth - these pictures were sent to Professor Tim Spector when he asked for evidence of lesser known side effects of coronavirus (Twitter)
COVID tongue, an increasingly common side effect of coronavirus, but not one listed on the Public Health England or government list of symptoms (Twitter)
COVID mouth - these pictures were sent to Professor Tim Spector when he asked for evidence of lesser known side effects of coronavirus (Twitter)
COVID toes - another picture sent to Professor Tim Spector when he asked for evidence of lesser known side effects of coronavirus (Twitter)

He said: “One in five people with COVID still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official PHE list - such as skin rashes.

“Seeing increasing numbers of COVID tongues and strange mouth ulcers.”

Prof Spector used the news to urge people to stay at home even if they do not have a cough, fever, or change in sense of taste or smell.

He said: “If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home!”

Prof Spector has previously criticised PHE for not updating the list of symptoms, as so many other countries have.

On Friday the UK had recorded 3.54 million cases of coronavirus, and more than 94,500 deaths.

Watch: What is long COVID?

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