Coronavirus Symptoms May Include Loss of Taste, Smell

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Should these participants show signs of Covid-19, they will be sent a kit so that they can be tested for the disease.

"We propose that these symptoms be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection", the group said.

One of the UK's leading ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultants believes the loss of the senses of smell and taste could be a new symptom of contracting COVID-19.

A third specialist, Clemens Wendtner, added two details: the loss of smell is transient, usually lasting a few weeks at most, and it is independent of the severity of clinical illness and the presence of congestion. Emphasizing it too early, or too heavily, could mean clinicians might miss patients who haven't lost their sense of smell, but who are infected and have other symptoms.

Professor Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, and Professor Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK, released a joint statement saying there had been a sudden rise "in cases of isolated anosmia" in the some countries, including UK, US, France and northern Italy.

However, a growing body of data from COVID-19 patients in several countries strongly suggests that "significant numbers" of those patients experienced anosmia as one of the disease's symptoms, according to the ENT UK statement.

A statement from the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery also identified anecdotal evidence of a diminished sense of taste (dysgeusia) in some people.

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Flinders University ENT specialist Simon Carney hypothesizes anosmia may be an early sign of the disease and, if verified in future studies, could be a way to detect what he refers to as "silent carriers". "I didn't even think it could be related", he says. Knowing an early warning sign that isn't typically present in patients with the common cold or flu may be an important differentiator for COVID-19. They also are advising against performing any nonessential sinus endoscopy procedures because the virus replicates in the nose and throat, meaning any exam could prompt coughs and/or sneezing that can expose doctors to a high level of the virus should the patient be infected.

In response to a news article on the topic, Daniel Goldman - the former lead investigative counsel for the House Intelligence Committee Democrats who said last week he and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19 - wrote on Twitter that "this has been the case with both my wife and me".

In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. The WHO says other symptoms can include tiredness, fatigue, and in some patients, "aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea".

The WHO does note a small number of cases have reported symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and a runny nose.

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.

With over 6.600 confirmed cases and 300 deaths, the coronavirus outbreak is moving fast in the United Kingdom, now under lockdown for three weeks by government orders.

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