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. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery said symptoms of anosmia, or lack of sense of smell, and dysgeusia, or lack of taste, should be used to identify possible infections.
"A loss of smell or a loss of taste is something that we're looking into", Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of WHO's emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said on a briefing call with reporters on Monday. These other symptoms are still only reported in a minority of cases and should not be considered as common as the primary symptoms. "We don't have the answer to that yet". But the main symptoms to look out for, listed by the nHS, are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.
Why the lost sense of smell?
Other symptoms have since come to light, including loss of taste and smell.
"Speaking to clinicians in the hospital, especially in the elderly you get very different symptoms to the young so this idea there is only two types of symptoms - fever and long-term cough - is wrong". On Twitter, where many people-including celebrities and United Kingdom health minister Nadine Dorries (who tested positive for the virus)-have posted about losing their sense of smell, Robert read that there could be a link between his symptoms and COVID-19.
Doctors in countries where COVID-19 has spread have reported that some people whose only apparent symptom is a loss of smell may not have been tested for the virus and could unwittingly be spreading it. However, the preliminary, and still relatively anecdotal, observation is not officially recognized as a COVID-19 symptom by the World Health Organization at this stage. Difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, and bluish lips or face are listed as emergency symptoms for which people should seek immediate care. However, doctors still say everyone should treat any potential symptom like it's a positive test, and not infect anyone else. In Germany, they wrote, more than two-thirds of confirmed coronavirus cases included anosmia. But some health care workers are encouraging their peers to consider the symptom when caring for patients they suspect might have be infected.
"I think these patients may be some of the hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of the virus". "If someone says yes, it would definitely make me more suspicious that they need further work-up".
Describing his current symptoms, Gobert said he hasn't been able to taste or smell anything since being diagnosed. "Cases related to COVID19 may resolve more quickly". In a statement, they warned that adults experiencing recent anosmia could be unknown carriers of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Medical experts are still unsure how the sudden, profound loss of smell is linked to the Covid-19 virus.
"But anything that gives us a heads-up into who needs to be isolated or tested, that might be a good screening tool", Holbrook said.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology, the nation's association of head and neck surgeons, recently released a statement calling for anosmia, hyposmia, and dysgeusia to be added to official list of symptoms for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease now spreading the world. That will allow them to compare both groups and understand whether anosmia is truly a core coronavirus symptom.
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