Loss of smell a sign of Covid-19?
A group of British ear, nose, and throat specialists says the list of common Covid-19 symptoms should be expanded to include anosmia—the loss of sense of smell. Health officials currently list the disease’s main telltale symptoms as fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath. But the U.K. team says that patients around the world have also reported loss of smell, even when they are otherwise symptom-free. The researchers say doctors have logged patients with anosmia in the U.K., South Korea, China, Iran, and Italy; that more than two-thirds of Covid-19 patients in Germany report it as one of their symptoms; and that it is the “major presenting symptom” for 30 percent of otherwise mild cases in South Korea. “It’s really important that we extend the criteria for which people self-isolate to include anybody with loss of taste and loss of sense of smell,” Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, tells The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). “It’s critical that we identify patients who are asymptomatic to slow the spread of this disease.”