A new study has drawn a link between COVID-19 and a change or loss of smell or taste by collecting data from a smartphone app. The reason for anosmia and dysgeusia is unclear as the virus is suspected of interfering with some nerve cells.
Researchers stated that almost 2.5 million people in the United Kingdom and 170,000 people in the United States entered about the symptoms in a smartphone app, which they had experienced from March 24 to April 21. Even, some of the app users also reported results of PCR diagnostic tests for the SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. It showed that nearly 65 percent of roughly 6,400 U.K. residents were tested positive for the virus, and they also had a loss of taste and smell as a symptom. Added to that, just above 67 percent of 726 U.S. people with a positive test also suffered from loss of senses. So, only about 20 percent of all people who tested negative had reduced smell and taste.
A team of scientists led by clinical researchers Clair Steves and Tim Spector from King’s College London has used the data from the app to ascertain a formula for determining which symptoms best predict COVID-19. It is showed that extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, cough, and loss of smell, and taste are the best predictor of having positive results from the PCR test. Based on those symptoms, the researchers estimate that more than 140,000 of the more than 800,000 app users who have reported symptoms probably have COVID-19. It indicates clearly that a loss of smell or taste might be an early sign of infection with the pandemic virus.
The World Health Organization lists loss of taste and smell as a less common COVID-19 symptom. Still, the researchers recommend that it should be added to the top symptoms used to screen people for the disease as it helps in delaying the further spread of the virus in the community.
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