Could Loss of Smell and Taste Be a Symptom of Coronavirus?

Grant Boone
March 26, 2020

"And until you're either past quarantine or you're tested and test negative, that's how big the symptom is and how they're taking precautions in France". Getting tested, if possible, is also strongly advised.

That advice comes from multiple doctors' groups in the USA and elsewhere.

He believes patients who display a sudden loss of smell or taste could have the coronavirus without realising it, even if they don't display a high temperature or a continuous new cough, which are the primary indicators of infection.

That's what happened to a friend of mine who, after a scary ten days and a brief hospital visit, seems to be recovering from Covid-19.

"Eating and drinking warm or cold that's all I can tell", she posted on Twitter last week.

According to some reports a mother who was infected was not able to smell her infants' loaded dirty diaper, some cooks have not been able to smell curry or garlic as well as food tasting bland, and others are not able to smell sweet scents of shampoo or dirty kitty litter.

Loss of the ability to smell or taste could be a warning sign of the deadly coronavirus, a recent report claimed. These symptoms should "warrant serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these individuals", the Academy said in a statement.

As of Monday afternoon, the CDC reported 33,404 known cases of COVID-19 in the USA and 400 deaths. On Monday, World Health Organization officials announced they were further probing a possible link between anosmia and coronavirus - though they noted the evidence of a potential connection remains preliminary.

He said some two thirds of infected people reported losing their sense of smell and taste for a few days.

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Asked whether this meant it would be available in a number of days, rather than weeks or months, she said "absolutely". The tests "can see if you have antibodies, in which case you know you had the infection", she added.

As more and more people around the world are becoming infected by the new coronavirus, there has been a spike in people reporting a loss of smell, and by extension taste, according to doctors. In South Korea, where testing for COVID-19 is widespread, some 30% of patients with mild symptoms have reported anosmia, the technical term for a loss of sense of smell.

So what should you do?

A fever, coughing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of the coronavirus.

Around 40 per cent of cases of sudden loss of smell in adults are caused by post-viral anosmia, she said, and previously known coronaviruses are thought to account for up to 15 per cent. The lack of awareness makes them carry on. So don't let that happen.

It is important for people experiencing these symptoms to self-isolate themselves.

"Without adequate testing, I don't think you can know for sure", Verret added.

Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz center whose positive novel coronavirus test prompted the National Basketball Association to shut down entirely, said Sunday that he, too, had lost his sense of smell.

Even if you don't fit the criteria for testing, stay home and isolate yourself from other people if you suspect that you might have been in contact with someone carrying the virus. Not only is that the responsible thing to do to avoid spreading the disease, it's also setting an example for your employees. Such cases could be contributing to the rapid spread of coronavirus worldwide as they often go undetected. My friend with the virus had been subsisting on chicken noodle soup and small amounts of yogurt for the past week.

As stated by the Delegate Commission of the SEORL-CCC, "in a short time we have gone from a group of patients to developing pneumonia of unknown origin to the declaration of a pandemic and a state of health alarm".

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