The New York TimesThe New York Times

What to do for unusual Covid symptoms: hairy tongue, hair loss and more

By Dani Blum

16 Nov 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

By this point, we are all pretty well acquainted with the conventional Covid symptoms. The New York Times reports on an array of symptoms you might not have heard of.

By this point in the long slog of the pandemic, many people know the telltale symptoms of a COVID-19 infection: a ragged ache in your throat, a pernicious cough, congestion, fever and full-body exhaustion. But a tiny subset of people also develop less common symptoms, ones that can sound like hexes from a children’s story: hairy tongues, purple toes, welts that sprout on their faces.

“Every infectious disease has common and uncommon manifestations,” said Dr. Mark Mulligan, an infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health. And as we learn more about the coronavirus, he said, we may better understand the underlying causes behind these infrequent symptoms — but until then, it’s largely guesswork.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content