Loss of Smell Can Indicate Coronavirus Infection
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recently stated that 'Anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating from around the world that Anosmia is a new symptom associated with the COVID-19 disease.’
Furthermore, on March 22, 2020, this Academy’s statement says ‘Anosmia (sense of smell) has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus infection with no other symptoms.’
And there is evidence that previous coronaviruses have been associated with post-viral smell loss.
In a joint briefing paper, British Rhinological Society president Claire Hopkins and Nirmal Kumar, the president of ENT UK, said that previous coronaviruses are thought to account for up to 15 percent of Anosmia cases.
These UK experts note that in South Korea, where testing for COVID-19 has been extensive, about 30 percent of patients testing positive have had Anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.
Additionally, these experts suggest this issue is an opportunity to act.
If adults with loss of smell, but no other symptoms, self-isolate for 7-days alongside people with more established symptoms, we “might be able to reduce the number of otherwise asymptomatic people who continue to act as vectors,” the UK experts suggest.
Separately, the President of the British Rhinological Society issued a statement saying 'Given the potential for COVID-19 to present with anosmia, and the reports that corticosteroid use may increase the severity of infection, we would advise against the use of oral steroids in the treatment of new-onset anosmia during the coronavirus pandemic.’
As of March 24th, neither the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization had added Anosmia to its COVID-19 disease symptom list.
The CDC’s symptom list includes include, fever, cough, and trouble breathing.
Furthermore, the CDC says ‘If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor first. Tell them that you think you might have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and protect others.’
COVID-19 outbreak news published by Coronavirus Today.