Home Health Loss of smell could be a “highly reliable indicator” of Covid-19, according to research

Loss of smell could be a “highly reliable indicator” of Covid-19, according to research


The researchers, based in the UK, wrote in their study that people who lose their sense of smell or taste should consider self-isolation, even if they have no other symptoms.

“Our results show that loss of smell and taste is a highly reliable indicator of the likelihood of someone having Covid-19 and if we are to reduce the spread of this pandemic, it should now be considered by governments globally as a criterion. isolation, testing and contact tracing, ”Rachel Batterham, of University College London and University College London Hospitals, who helped lead the study group, said in a press release Thursday.

The team studied 590 volunteers who experienced a new loss of smell or taste and tested 567 for Covid-19.

Of those 567 people who were tested, 77.6% tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies. In total, 80.4% of the participants reported loss of smell and 77.8% of those who reported loss of taste had a positive test result, the researchers reported in the journal PLOS Medicine.

About 40% of those who tested positive for antibodies had neither fever nor cough.

Batterham and his colleagues also found that participants with loss of smell alone were nearly three times more likely than patients with taste loss alone to have Covid-19 antibodies, and participants with a combined loss of smell and taste were. four times more likely to have antibodies.

“These results suggest that a loss of smell is a highly specific symptom of Covid-19, in contrast to a loss of taste, despite their comparable frequency,” the researchers wrote in the study.

The study recruited its volunteers between April 23 and May 14, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in London. The results have some limitations, including the fact that the study does not include a comparison group of people who did not lose their sense of smell and / or taste.

Overall, the loss of smell – called anosmia – emerged at the start of the pandemic as a possible symptom of Covid-19. It was added to the UK’s official coronavirus symptom list in May, the Department of Health and Welfare announced.

At the time, a government statement stated that “all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia.”



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