Mouth lesions may be a new COVID 19 symptom, Spanish study suggests
Health experts at a hospital in Madrid examined the mouths of 21 patients with COVID-19 who had rashes on their skin to determine if they had enanthem -- a skin rash-like lesion inside a person's mouth.
Mouth lesions and spots on the palate may be a new symptom of the novel coronavirus, a new study by Spanish researchers suggests.
Health experts at Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid examined the mouths of 21 patients with COVID-19 who had rashes on their skin to determine if they had enanthem -- a skin rash-like lesion inside a person's mouth.
The study's findings, published in JAMA Dermatology, found six of the patients with skin rash had some form of enanthem in their mouths. The average time between the onset of classic symptoms such as coughing and these lesions were about 12 days.
All were between ages 40 and 69 and four of the six were female, suggesting this symptom might affect certain subgroups of patients, said the study.
The team says doctors and nurses should examine the oral cavities of confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients to see if they are also exhibiting these signs. "This work describes preliminary observations and is limited by the small number of cases and the absence of a control group," researchers from Ramon y Cajal University Hospital wrote in the study.
"Despite the increasing reports of skin rashes in patients with COVID-19, establishing an etiological diagnosis is challenging. However, the presence of enanthem is a strong clue that suggests a viral etiology rather than a drug reaction, especially when a petechial pattern is observed."
The researchers added that "many patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 do not have their oral cavity examined," largely due to safety concerns. Given the fact that patients are wearing masks and the mouth is not examined, it's possible additional COVID-19 patients may have these symptoms, say experts.
The rashes were split into four different categories, according to the researchers: "petechial, macular, macular with petechiae, or erythematovesicular.”
Enanthems were previously identified in some COVID-19 patients in Italy, the researchers said. In April also, a different group of Spanish scientists had found that lesions and bruises on toes were linked to the virus.