Possible new Covid symptoms affecting mouth and eyes discovered in India

Doctors in Covid-ravaged India are warning of potential new symptoms of the disease.

According to health workers in Bengaluru, Karnataka, extreme dryness of the mouth may be an early sign of infection. 

Carriers of the illness may also complain of irritation and itching of the tongue and a vague sensation of pain. 

In rare cases, the patient may be suffering with several mouth ulcers, doctors said. 

Health professionals are being advised to look out for such symptoms as well as the typical cough, loss of taste or smell and high temperature.  

Dr GB Sattur told local media how a 55-year-old man presented himself at the hospital with ‘extreme dryness of the mouth’ and conjunctivitis.

Dr Sattur said: ‘I had read that conjunctivitis can be one of the symptoms of Covid. Though he didn’t have a fever, he said that he was tired.’

The patient later tested positive for coronavirus.

Anyone with symptoms of the mouth paired with extreme weakness should receive a Covid test, Dr Satur added.

He suggested that different strains of the virus, like the variants first identified in India or South Africa, may result in different or new symptoms. 

‘Doctors should keep an eye on tongue complaints and not ignore them,’ Dr Sattur said.

‘The government must do more genome sequencing to understand the variants better.’

It is not the first time symptoms of the mouth have been considered a sign of coronavirus, with ‘Covid tongue’ having previously been described in Britain. 

Epidemiologist and professor Tim Spector posted a photo of the phenomenon on Twitter.

He wrote: ‘Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers.’

It comes as the Indian variant is continuing to grow rapidly in certain parts of the UK, particularly in Bolton and Blackburn. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Parliament today that there are now 2,323 confirmed cases of the strain, also known as B1617.2, across Britain. 

He added: ‘The early evidence suggests that B1617.2 is more transmissible than the previously dominant B117 variant. We do not know yet to what extent.

‘And while we don’t have a complete picture on the impact of the vaccine, the early laboratory data from Oxford University corroborates the provisional evidence from Bolton hospital and the initial observation data from India that vaccines are effective against this variant.’ 

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