Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons say the virus is capable of causing swelling in the olfactory mucosa in a way not commonly seen in other viruses, and therefore the loss of sense of smell could be used as a key clinical indicator in otherwise healthy carriers of COVID-19.
Nurse Jany Guedes, right, takes a sample for testing from Maria Laso at a drive-through testing site for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Doris Ison Health Center, on Friday, March 20, 2020, in Miami.
"This was initially thought to be nearly exclusively respiratory", he said, adding that "fever, cough, and shortness of breath, quot; still appear to be the predominant symptoms of Covid-19". The statement also said that there was a rapid increase in the number of patients displaying this symptom instead of the usual symptom previously recorded.
Jeffrey Shaman, a researcher at the Columbia University Mailman School who co-authored research that appeared in the journal Science, said these "stealth" transmissions play a major role in COVID-19's spread. Now, doctors are warning about some odd symptoms many may not have realized are actually symptoms: a lost or reduced sense of smell or taste.
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According to the leading rhinologists in the United Kingdom, the loss of the sense of smell could be the tell tale sign that someone is infected with the coronavirus and is a "hidden carrier".
According to Klein, "People who start to notice that they're suffering from anosmia should isolate themselves as a precaution and wear a mask, even with their family". "Unfortunately, these patients do not meet current criteria for testing or self-isolation".
Earlier reports from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first emerged, had warned that ear, nose and throat specialists as well as eye doctors were infected and dying in large numbers.
On Sunday, American Academy of Otolaryngology in a statement said that anosmia, hyposmia and dysgeusia, or loss of taste, in patients having no history of allergy should alert physicians to potential coronavirus infection. "The coronavirus is leading to the loss of smell, which in turn also affects many patients' sense of taste", Raboso told Cadena SER.
"Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is definitely one of the symptoms, haven't been able to smell anything for the last 4 days".