KEY POINTS

  • Coronavirus common symptoms include continuous cough and fever
  • A new symptom has been observed in some COVID-19 patients
  • You need to self-isolate if you experience this symptom

Coronavirus continues to sweep through more than 180 countries and territories around the world, leaving thousands dying and many more in serious condition. As of today, there are now 382,420 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, with 16,569 deaths, and another 12,078 in serious or critical condition.

The official advisory from the government now is that anyone who feels even the mildest symptom of coronavirus infection should immediately go into self-isolation for a minimum of seven days. While many know the common symptoms of coronavirus such as fever and coughing, there is a new symptom that you need to be aware of. This is the loss of one of your five basic senses, indicating that you are at risk.

A Diminishing Olfactory Sense

Citing reports from colleagues and peers around the world, British doctors specializing in ear, nose, and throat medicine say that loss of smell may indicate coronavirus infection. According to them, this odd symptom may be among the early warning signs of the disease.

British doctors are now giving advisories that anyone experiencing this unusual symptom should isolate themselves for at least seven days, even if no other common symptoms are present. This conclusion was reached after the New York Times reported news about a mother being unable to smell the nappy of her baby. There are also news reports that cooks, who were later confirmed as COVID-19 positive, have been struggling to smell spices. This prompted them to submit themselves for testing.

An Awareness Drive

The president of the British Rhinological Society, Professor Claire Hopkins, in a statement, wrote that her organization wants to raise awareness about other symptoms of coronavirus infection. She said that anyone who observed their sense of smell starts to diminish until completely gone should self-isolate as this symptom may indicate an infection. Professor Hopkins said that going on self-isolation after experiencing this early infection symptom could contribute to the drive of the government to slow down transmission and save lives.

Many leading health experts have looked into the matter and are now recommending the testing and strict isolation of anyone who has lost their sense of smell and taste. Even if that is the only symptom that they have, and all other common symptoms are not showing, they should self-isolate.

Ears, nose, and throat doctors in the UK reiterated that the symptom of a loss of smell and taste might be a warning sign of coronavirus. This is because there is strong evidence coming from Italy, South Korea, and China that coronavirus patients have developed hyposmia or anosmia. The likely reason why a loss of smell and taste is now considered a symptom of COVID-19 infection is because of the virus itself lodging in the nose.