New research argues that loss of smell and taste can be interpreted as concrete signs that someone might be infected with COVID-19. In some cases, there could be the only notable symptoms.
The team of researchers who conducted the study argues that people who experience either loss of smell or loss of taste or both at the same time should self-isolate even if other symptoms aren’t present. Health agencies should also classify the two symptoms criteria for self-isolation.
During the study, the team observed 590 participants who were affected by a loss of smell or taste. Tests performed on 567 participants revealed that 77.6% featured COVID-19 antibodies. Out of all the participants, 80.4% reported that they lost their sense of smell, and in 77.8% of these cases, a positive test result was recorded.
Further research has revealed that 40% of the people tested positive for the antibodies test didn’t cough or sneeze. Participants who lost only the sense of smell were also three times more likely to test positive, while those with both symptoms were four times more likely to feature antibodies.
These results infer that loss of smell can be taken into account as a highly specific symptom in the case of coronavirus infection. Research data was gathered between the months of April and May when the COVID-19 pandemic reached a peak in the case of London outbreaks.
Previous research has inferred that the loss of smell can be associated with coronavirus infections. Anosmia, as the symptom is known in the scientific world, has been included on the official list of coronavirus symptoms in the UK since May.
Further research will take place in the future, and upcoming studies could offer even more information that could be used to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the long run.