Should the loss of sense of smell be added to the list of COVID-19 symptoms?
United Kingdom researchers have launched an app to help track the spread of Covid-19 and explore who is most at risk from the disease in an attempt to better understand the pandemic. (Anosmia and ageusia are the full loss of smell and taste, respectively.) The British Rhinological Society calls for people with these symptoms to immediately self-isolate for seven days. "Since then, I've had colleagues from around the world saying: 'That's exactly what we're seeing.' They've been trying [to raise awareness], but it hasn't been picked up". Emphasizing it too early, or too heavily, could mean clinicians might miss patients who haven't lost their sense of smell, but who are infected and have other symptoms. Along with ENT UK president Nirmal Singh, Hopkins made a joint statement supporting the need for all professionals in the health sector to protect themselves with appropriate personal protective equipment if their patients report not being able to smell things. "Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms".
One of the major complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, is that many who transmit the illness will show mild or no symptoms, making it very hard to identify how many people are infected with the disease and who is therefore likely to pass it on to others. "In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia". He immediately chose to self-isolate and tell his employer.
Kumar and other doctors are urging authorities globally to add a loss of sense of smell to the list of symptoms that would trigger stay-at-home requirements. "They are presumed to be contagious and they should self-quarantine from the onset of that symptom". "This potentially gives us an opportunity to capture some of those people who are silent spreaders of disease". In my practice, patients all around me are reporting this.More news: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announces new Covid-19 measures and protections
A statement from the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery also identified anecdotal evidence of a diminished sense of taste (dysgeusia) in some people.
When doctors at the University Hospital Bonn in Germany recently interviewed more than 100 patients infected with COVID-19, they discovered that almost 70% "described a loss of smell and taste lasting several days", said Dr. Hendrik Streeck, head of the hospital's Institute of Virology.
Reports of anosmia appearing as a possible symptom of coronavirus have reverberated online in recent days.
"I think these patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of Covid-19", it said.
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Professor of ear, nose, and throat surgery at Flinders University, Simon Carney said he believes "evidence is emerging day by day". They admit that they have insufficient data to strongly support this conclusion, yet they feel that the importance of this preliminary finding justifies its dissemination.
He said the warning, without further research, could cause panic even among those who have long suffered from anosmia, further straining outpatient clinics.
It is important to note that a reduction in one's sense of smell is a relatively common symptom associated with a number of viral and bacterial infections, from the flu to sinusitis.
"On one end, it would be nice to have a good study". "Many people out there have anosmia". One of them was a school teacher named Robert, from the north of England, who was eating candy over the weekend when he realized he couldn't taste or smell anything. "That's the other side of the coin".
"Somebody who has had a loss of smell over the past year, that is not what we are talking about", said Dr. Peter Zonakis an otolaryngologist at Grand River Health. Some patients, though "very few" overall, had reported gastrointestinal problems, runny noses or sneezing. Because they don't meet the vital criteria to be tested (two or more symptoms and a travel history), they are unlikely to get a definite positive and may spread the virus unknowingly.More news: Apple is now offering free ebooks and audiobooks in Apple Books