Does losing your sense of smell mean you have COVID-19?

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Those reports are among a growing amount of anecdotal evidence that suggests experts might want to consider anosmia as a potential sign of infection. "It's just an additional thing for us to be aware of".

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.

The statement reads that in South Korea, 30% of positive patients exhibited anosmia as "their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases".

Lost sense of smell may be a clue to infection with COVID-19, a group of doctors are recommending testing and isolating those who have recently lost their ability to smell and taste even if they have no other symptoms.

However, new reports from doctors across the United States reveal a somewhat unique symptom that appears to be popping up with increasing regularity in confirmed coronavirus cases: A loss of smell.

Van Kerkhove said a number of countries were collecting data on the symptoms of early infections, and that World Health Organization is working to learn if they have identified the loss of smell or taste as a symptom. But while evidence is unclear, it's significant enough for medical experts to call upon people to isolate themselves when they experience this symptom. They don't have a good sense of smell. But "we don't have hard evidence right now" about how often smell loss occurs in people infected with the pandemic virus, he said in an interview Monday. "On the other hand, it's about not spreading the virus", he said.

"This week, I saw nine patients that lost their sense of smell, which is unheard of in my practice", Hopkins said.

Many viruses that cause common colds cause inflammation that can obstruct the nose, Barnes said. Allergies and chronic sinus conditions also can diminish smell.

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By self-isolating, people who lose their sense of smell could prevent the spread of the disease. In a previous study, human coronaviruses were identified in the nasal secretions of one of the 24 anosmia patients studied.

Individuals should not go to an emergency room for COVID-19 testing unless they are having a medical emergency.

Dressed in full protective gear a healthcare worker collects a sample from a man sitting inside his auto as part of the operations of a coronavirus mobile testing unit. They admit that they have insufficient data to strongly support this conclusion, yet they feel that the importance of this preliminary finding justifies its dissemination.

Many people who have lost their sense of smell initially turned to Twitter for answers, especially ones who had no other symptoms of COVID-19.

But this coronavirus is a tiny particle so it can reach that area, and it actually affects the lining and the receptors in the roof of the nose. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.

"But what's unique about this is, we're seeing in younger healthier people that have very little symptoms or asymptomatic", Wells said.

Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, an infectious disease doctor with CHI Health, said she would not make a coronavirus determination based on diarrhea alone. If the patient undergoing the procedure sneezes or coughs, there is a high risk of viral spread to the physician performing the procedure. Secondary symptoms to watch out for are shortness of breath, body aches and a sore throat.

It's unclear exactly why the virus produces these early symptoms, but they could prove to be useful in early screening of possible coronavirus cases.

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