It's no secret that the entire world is in a state of panic due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many countries have imposed curfews and lockdowns and have advised that people follow social distancing. While most symptoms of the illness include basic respiratory issues, cold, cough and fever etc, a new study has found that the loss of taste and smell might just work as an early indicator of the illness.
In fact, medical experts from various countries are saying that this could be used as a screening tool too. It is known that most respiratory viruses like the Covid-19 can temporarily reduce the sense of smell of taste due to inflammation that can tamper with the airflow and reduce the ability to detect odours. Usually, this symptom dissolves once the illness is cured but in some cases, it stays a little longer and in very rare cases it can also be permanent.
Multiple experts from South Korea, Italy and China have said that loss of smell in infected people is a pretty common symptom and must be looked out for especially these days. It was also found that in South Korea 30 percent of people who tested positive for the virus complained about the loss of smell as a major symptom. The one terrible thing about the coronavirus is that a lot of people don't even show symptoms which is why the loss of smell could be used as a way to spot the infection if other symptoms are absent in certain people.
Other experts from around the world also claim that the loss of smell and taste should be taken seriously and people should immediately alert doctors about the symptom. An outbreak expert also said that the UN is looking into whether the loss of smell and taste can be claimed as defining factors of having the illness.
But "we don't have hard evidence right now about how often smell loss occurs in people infected with the pandemic virus", said Dr Eric Holbrook, an expert on nasal and sinus disease. He is also trying to further the research by setting up a study that will test the sense of smell in infected people. Stay tuned for more updates.