In a statement, a team of British ear, nose and throat doctors, explained how they had observed a trend among COVID-19 patients globally who were otherwise asymptomatic – they’d suddenly lost their sense of smell and taste.
“All of this evidence is accumulating very rapidly, but there’s nothing yet robustly in print,” Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, told The Washington Post. “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.”
There are plenty of anecdotes from those with confirmed cases of coronavirus that back this theory too.
“Before I tested positive for COVID-19, I completely lost my sense of taste. Even black coffee was bland and I couldn’t smell a thing. No congestion either. If you are experiencing this, stay home!” one Twitter user wrote.
Another added: “If you have lost your sense of taste/smell you may have COVID. That was my ONLY symptom.”
The World Health Organisation, however, are yet to officially include anosmia and ageusia on their list of symptoms to watch for. Still, they’ve acknowledged that their experts will be investigating this link.
“We’ve seen quite a few reports now that people in the early stages of disease may lose the sense of smell, may lose the sense of taste, but this is something that we need to look into to really capture if this is one of the early signs and symptoms of COVID-19,” WHO representative Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said in a press conference last week.
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