Spotlight Falls On Surprising Covid Symptom: Black Tongue – Kaiser Health News

Tongue discoloration is reportedly getting fresh attention as a lesser-known covid symptom of covid. Meanwhile, CDC data shows new covid subvariants have overtaken BA.5 for the first time in the U.S. And drugmakers who make treatments are struggling to keep up.
San Francisco Chronicle: COVID In California: Black Hairy Tongue, An Unsightly But Common Symptom, Gets Fresh Attention
Tongue discoloration is a condition that has been associated with various viral infections long before the coronavirus pandemic, but the symptom has drawn fresh attention since the death last month of author Julie Powell, the inspiration for the movie “Julie and Julia.” In her final tweet, the 49-year-old food writer who had recently recovered from a bout of COVID-19 said she woke up “with something that’s literally Black Hairy Tongue.” (Vaziri, Kawahara and Buchmann, 11/16)
The New York Times: What To Do For Unusual Covid Symptoms: Hairy Tongue, Hair Loss And More 
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. (Blum, 11/16)
More on the spread of covid —
NBC News: New Coronavirus Subvariants Overtake BA.5 For First Time Since July
Two new omicron subvariants have overtaken BA.5 as the prevailing versions of the coronavirus in the U.S. BA.5 became dominant in July, then consistently accounted for the majority of new Covid infections until last week. (Bendix, 11/16)
Bloomberg: Covid Drug Treatments Aren't Keeping Up With Virus Mutations
Covid-19’s constant mutations have proven nearly impossible for drugmakers to keep up with. Omicron’s newest stepchildren threaten to render the last two antibody drugs on the market ineffective: Eli Lilly & Co.’s bebtelovimab, which is used to treat symptoms, and AstraZeneca Plc’s Evusheld, which helps prevent infections. (Muller, 11/16)
Scientific American: Who Is Dying From COVID Now, And Why 
For the past several weeks, the COVID death rate in the U.S. has stayed fairly steady, with 2,344 people dying of the illness in the seven-day period ending on November 9, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even so, the U.S. still accounts for a large portion of all confirmed COVID deaths happening around the globe, and it has the highest number of confirmed COVID deaths of any country. There have been 1.2 million excess deaths in the U.S. since February 2020, according to the CDC—losses that have reshaped almost every part of American life. (Schreiber, 11/16)
KHN: Blackfeet Nation Challenges Montana Ban On Vaccine Mandates As Infringement On Sovereignty
J.R. Myers’ frustration grew as he read the email: To attend a local economic development council meeting in Browning — the largest community on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana — he had to bring proof he was vaccinated against covid-19. It was November 2021. Six months earlier, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, had signed a law prohibiting businesses and governments from discriminating against people who aren’t vaccinated against covid or other diseases. To Myers, the requirement to attend the meeting of the Glacier County Regional Port Authority — formed by local governments in Glacier County’s tribal and nontribal areas — appeared to violate that law. (Houghton, 11/17)
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