Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Loss of taste and smell could mean you have the coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic had a lot to teach us in this course of its outbreak. In the coming days, we might explore a lot of things. What we know currently is that the disease exhibits a lot of symptoms varying from digestive signs to that like a common cold. However, there are reports stating that the disease can cause loss of taste and smell as well.

In a statement released by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, it was said that anecdotal reports of anosmia (loss of smell) and dysgeusia (loss of taste) are reported in patients tested positive with SARS-CoV-2. It has also proposed that individuals with the symptoms of anosmia, hyposmia, and dysgeusia are to be isolated and screened immediately. One should also note that particularly anosmia in patients tests positive for the virus. In addition, it should be seen that the patients should be free from allergic rhinitis, acute rhinosinusitis, or chronic rhinosinusitis.

But it is not something new, and we see such loss of senses in other viral illnesses too. For example, an ample period of common cold caused by rhinovirus can also result in a bosnia for a brief period. Also, this is not something new to us. Similar symptoms were also seen in other coronaviral outbreaks such like SARS. A report from Taiwan added that a woman had anosmia for a long period of two years. As of now, we do not have official reports associating this loss of senses, but the anecdotal reports are growing

The future

Currently, from the previous reports, we know that these symptoms are self-limiting and will disappear over time. The resolving can occur over a brief period and can up to a maximum of even 6-12 months. However, the sad part of this anosmia is that people with this symptom may not be knowing that they might be spreading the virus, unless they are tested.

One should also note that physical traumas, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., can also cause the loss of senses. So, such a differential diagnosis is essential to evaluate such patients. As of now, these symptoms are not listed in health organization websites such as the CDC and WHO. Further study and rapid testing can let us know in understanding the virus as a whole.

Source: ABC News

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