Not just smell: Loss of taste may also be COVID-19 warning sign

Not just smell: Loss of taste may also be COVID-19 warning sign
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TORONTO -- Evidence is mounting that the sudden loss of the sense of smell and/or the sense of taste may be a sign of COVID-19 infection.

Cases of otherwise asymptomatic patients reporting an inability to detect odours and then testing positive for the new coronavirus have been reported in many of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, including South Korea and Germany.

Though these claims have not yet reached the stage of peer-reviewed research, two British doctors groups found them worrying enough last week to call for governments to require anyone who loses their sense of smell to self-isolate.

Since then, other medical experts have suggested that the virus may also be able to affect a second sense: taste.

Nadine Dorries, the United Kingdom s health minister, has said that she lost both senses as a "side effect" of her COVID-19 infection.

"Eating or drinking warm or cold, that s all I can tell," she tweeted March 19 .

Asked about the reliability of the claims at a press conference on Monday, the head of the WHO s emerging diseases unit told reporters that she had seen "quite a few reports" of patients losing one or both senses in the early stage of infection.

"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," Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said.

"We don t have the answer to that yet."

A side effect of #coronavirus for me is the fact that I have lost of taste and smell. Absolutely zero of both, so weird. Eating and drinking warm or cold that’s all I can tell. No point in putting a tea bag in the water. ☕️
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