Loss of Sense of Smell Could Be Early Sign of Coronavirus Infection

Losing Sense of Smell and Taste Could Be a Symptom of Coronavirus

Doctors with AAO-HNS recommended in the statement that loss of taste and smell be added to the list of symptoms when screening for signs of COVID-19, particularly when these sensory losses are isolated - that is, not accompanied by any signs of respiratory illness.

In addition, pharyngeal pain has been alerted in recent days to the appearance of alterations in smell and taste (anosmia and ageusia), of different severity, in a high percentage of patients with COVID-19.

The symptom, Kumar says, is also appearing in otherwise healthy people, indicating that a loss of sense of smell could be a vital indicator of whether somebody is carrying the virus unknowingly-especially in the United Kingdom, where tests for the virus are only available in hospitals for the most serious of cases, leaving many people with mild symptoms unsure of whether they are infected by the coronavirus or the common flu.

Additionally the American Academy of Otolaryngology has also suggested that mounting anecdotal evidence indicates that lost or reduced sense of smell and loss of taste are significant symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection, and that it has been seen in patients that have tested positive with no other symptoms.

Doctors in countries where COVID-19 has spread have reported that some people whose only apparent symptom is a loss of smell may not have been tested for the virus and could unwittingly be spreading it.

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"Somebody who has had a loss of smell over the past year, that is not what we are talking about", said Dr. Peter Zonakis an otolaryngologist at Grand River Health.

It looks like we are yet to unearth all of the possible symptoms that a Coronavirus patient might possess and loss of smell and/or taste is one of them. "It could contribute to slowing transmission and save lives". However, Germany is not testing at the same rates as South Korea and the data may be skewed.

"Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms", the academy wrote. All of these were mild cases.

"I think these patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of Covid-19", the statement said, adding that "Unfortunately, these patients do not meet current criteria for testing or self isolation". Again, this affirms the potential for anosmia to be an early symptom, appearing initially as the virus takes hold in a patient's nose and throat. "You ask about the patient's wife or husband. Our twins are fantastically committed, enthusiastic health research participants who have already been studied in unprecedented detail, putting us in a unique position to provide vital answers to support the global fight against COVID-19". One doctor, Rachel Kaye, who received this information from her colleagues in New Rochelle, says, "This raised a lot of alarms for me personally", because those patients "won't know to self-quarantine".

Notably, two specialists of ENT UK were being treated for coronavirus and it was expected that the two specialists were "most likely" infected while carrying out daily clinical work with asymptomatic patients.

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