Loss of smell could be an underlying sign of coronavirus, new study suggestsTop Stories

March 24, 2020 11:43
Loss of smell could be an underlying sign of coronavirus, new study suggests

(Image source from: vexape.com)

The signs and symptoms of coronavirus has been pretty straightforward till now. The combined sign of cough, fever as well as shortness of breath is what the doctors are treating as the primary symptom.

In severe cases, some of the signs are accompanied with confusion and anxiety as a prevailing sign or symptom.

A team of British doctors conducted a latest study that suggested a new possible indicator of coronavirus could be anosmia or the loss of smell. They have found in a few of the initial trial that anosmia is evident even in some of the asymptomatic patients.

In one of the reports released by them, they suggested stating that the adults who are experiencing the signs of anosmia could be unknown carriers of Covid-19 which is why it is best that they do self isolate themselves before things take a turn for the worse.

Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society stated saying, “All of this evidence is accumulating very rapidly, but there’s nothing yet robustly in print. 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.”

Even some of the experts at WHO have stated that even though they haven’t imposed the loss of taste and smell as a possible marker for coronavirus, they have not ruled out the possibility of the same as well.

Hopkins conducted the research with Nirmal Kumar, the president of ENT UK stated that the reason why she wanted to analyse this aspect was because of the sudden rise in the reported cases of anosmia in the patients and even among some of the doctors as well.

The researchers have also supported the claims in their study with citations from patients suffering in South Korea, China, Iran and Italy which stated saying “significant numbers of patients with proven covid-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia.”

Two-thirds of the confirmed covid-19 cases in Germany witnessed the victims saying that they have been experiencing signs of anosmia. 30% of the total number of patients confirmed for coronavirus have had anosmia as a major presenting symptom in them.

Emphasising this Hopkings further stated saying, “This week, I saw nine patients that lost their sense of smell, which is unheard of in my practice. They were almost all under 40, and they were all told not to self-isolate.”

Both the condition of anosmia and hyperosmia has been associated as an early sign of upper respiratory tract infection. Hopkins is worried about the patients who are asymptomatic and suggested saying that it is likely that this could be one of the leading signs of the infection.

Hopkins suggested saying that one of the primary reasons why she is clarifying the same is especially for the individuals who have not been taking their cases of self isolation and social distancing seriously.

Hopkins further added saying, “The lack of awareness allows these people to carry on. This potentially gives us an opportunity to capture some of those people who are silent spreaders of disease. The patients I’m seeing haven’t had a cough or fever at all."

Both Hopkins and Kumar wrote on this saying that while it is very possible for this new identification to be a general strain of rhinovirus or coronavirus, it could also potentially be used as a probably identity for the detection of the novel coronavirus. This could further help contain the spread by advising the people beforehand about self isolation.

By Somapika Dutta

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