If you’re experiencing the loss of taste or smell, you may have the coronavirus, according to lead Rhinologists in the United Kingdom.
A third of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in China and Italy have reported a loss of smell, medically known as anosmia or hyposmia.
The President of the British Rhinological Society Professor, Clare Hopkins, and the President of the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, Professor Nirmal Kumar, said in a joint statement that “In South Korea, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.”
Both Professors agreed that many patients worldwide who have tested positive for COVID-19 are reporting “only” symptoms of loss of smell and taste without the more commonly known symptoms of high fever and coughing.
Not recognizing these symptoms may mean possible carriers of the virus are unlikely to be tested or self-isolated and would contribute to the spread of the virus worldwide.
Professor Kumar told Sky News that younger patients may only demonstrate the loss of smell or taste, without demonstrating the more common symptoms.
“In young patients, they might not have any significant symptoms such as the cough and fever, but they may have just the loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are lodging in the nose,” he said.
The professors asked anyone who displays the symptoms of loss of taste or smell to self-isolate for seven days to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus.