Covid: The ‘unusual’ sign in your mouth as the UK sees ‘extremely worrying’ rise in cases
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“Despite our success in mitigating the impact of Covid through the vaccine programme, it is clear that the virus is not about to disappear,” said Denis Kinane, a leading immunologist and Founding Scientist at Cignpost Diagnostics. “There are some extremely worrying trends in the rising number of infections, particularly when compared to the levels from a year ago.” One sign that could help identify the culprit are mouth ulcers.
Mr Kinane said: “The current sharp rise in UK Covid cases has been primarily driven by the emergence, rapid transmission and immune escape of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 strains.
“This has resulted in a summer surge, which is troubling as we still await the more traditional autumn surge.”
Although the Covid vaccine reduces your risk of severe disease from the virus, you can still catch the culprit.
Plus, the new subvariants seem to be re-infecting even those who’ve had Covid recently.
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Fortunately, the symptoms caused by the subvariants don’t seem much different from the earlier Omicron versions, according to the expert.
You might be aware of the majority of Omicron symptoms but have you heard of mouth ulcers?
The Zoe Covid Study App reports that “unusual” ulcers might appear alongside with a “prickly heat style rash”.
The research app explains that mouth ulcers are very common when it comes to infections.
It notes that they can cause changes to the surface of your tongue, such as an unexplained condition known as ‘geographic tongue’ that can last for months.
Plus, there’s also a research paper, published in The International Journal of Dermatology, that backs the claim that mouth ulcers might occur as a symptom of Covid.
Looking at 59 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid, oral ulcers appeared in 24 patients which is about 36.3percent.
According to Merton Dental, this sign might appear alongside another traditional Covid sign – a loss of taste and smell.
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The health portal explains that Covid mouth sores tend to be quite mild but can be “more severe” in older and immunocompromised patients.
However, mouth ulcers aren’t the only warning sign. The NHS also lists other Covid symptoms that might appear, including:
- High temperature or shivering (chills)
- New, continuous cough
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Aching body
- Sore throat
- Blocked or runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
Mr Kinane explained that while you might expect new variants to strike down with new symptoms, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.
He said: “We might expect different symptoms but because the variance noise is great, we do not see clear patterns of difference from other variants yet.”
When asked about the future of Covid, the expert shared some gloomy news. Mr Kinane said: “The virus is continuing to mutate, and it is quite likely that more new strains will emerge that are more transmissible and have mutations that allow them to escape human immunity.
“The virus will continue to evolve, and develop structural changes that make it invisible to our immune system, whether we have gained immunity through vaccination or natural previous Covid infections.
“We have no indications yet that a step change in disease severity is on the way, but we do know that vaccine immunity begins to wane at three months and in most cases is markedly reduced or non-existent at five months.”
Although the vaccine immunity wanes, the jabs are believed to be the best “line of defence” against the virus.
Another measure that could keep you safe is mask wearing, especially in crowded spaces, the expert added.
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