Loss of smell could reveal hidden COVID-19

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Winston

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Loss of smell could reveal hidden COVID-19
24 Mar 2020

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-03-loss-reveal-hidden-virus-cases.html

From a mother unable to smell her baby's nappy to a lawmaker who suddenly could not taste food, some coronavirus patients have described a loss of olfactory senses—and experts say this might be a new way to detect the virus.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists in Britain, the United States and France have noted a growing number of patients in recent weeks with anosmia—the abrupt loss of smell—and have said this could be a sign of COVID-19 in people who otherwise appear well.

In Britain, ENT doctors have urged health authorities to advise people with a sudden loss of smell or taste to self-isolate even if they have no other symptoms.

Around 40 percent of cases of sudden loss of smell in adults are caused by post-viral anosmia, she said, and previously known coronaviruses are thought to account for up to 15 percent.

But she said the turning point came when an Italian colleague working in a hospital in the worst-hit north of the country mentioned he had observed a high incidence of loss of smell among frontline health workers.

This led to a flurry of posts on professional message boards.

"We all started to note an increase in patients who were young and otherwise completely asymptomatic presenting with new onset sense of smell loss," said Hopkins.

In Germany, virologist Hendrik Streeck from the University of Bonn, went house to house in Heinsberg, where around 1000 people were put under a two-week quarantine in February because of a local outbreak.

He said some two thirds of infected people reported losing their sense of smell and taste for a few days.

"It went so far that one mother could no longer smell her child's full nappy. Others couldn't smell their shampoo anymore and their food started to taste bland," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

A lack of testing in many countries means that often only those with the most severe symptoms are confirmed to have the virus.

But several high-profile patients with milder cases have reported a loss of olfactory senses.

Nadine Dorries, the first British politician to test positive, said she lost both her sense of smell and taste.

"Eating and drinking warm or cold that's all I can tell," she posted on Twitter last week.

French basketball player Rudy Gobert, 27, whose positive coronavirus test prompted the NBA to shut down its season, tweeted he had not "been able to smell anything for the last 4 days" on Sunday.

Abscent, a UK charity that provides support and advice on olfactory training to a relatively small community of people who have lost their sense of smell, has seen interest "skyrocket", according to founder Chrissi Kelly.

Hopkins has been "inundated" with emails since her statement was published.

Many people reported that close contacts and family members had also experienced anosmia symptoms within recent weeks. This is unusual, she said: "We certainly don't get clusters within groups of friends and family reported in the same way."

She said the advice on sense of smell loss could be particularly useful as a sign for medical workers to get a test or self-isolate, even without other symptoms.

"A healthcare worker who is infected unknowingly and spreading infection around colleagues is a disaster because we need to keep the workforce as healthy as possible," she said.
 
This report was linked in a post nearly a week ago on another thread.
 
This report was linked in a post nearly a week ago on another thread.
So what? I missed it. So might have others since it was buried in another thread. This MD just noticed it.

Loss of Smell & Conjunctivitis in COVID-19, Is Fever Helpful?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 44 with Roger Seheult, MD
Mar 26, 2020

 
I am not sure the virus is evolving. I think out understanding and knowledge of its effects are expanding.

Chuck,

My use of "evolving" wass based on several recent cases where patients did not have the sore throat or dry cough and went straight to the chest congestion.

If the symptoms being exhibited are changing, might that suggest the virus may be undergoing changes, too ?

Dave F.
 
Chuck,

My use of "evolving" wass based on several recent cases where patients did not have the sore throat or dry cough and went straight to the chest congestion.

If the symptoms being exhibited are changing, might that suggest the virus may be undergoing changes, too ?

Dave F.

I doubt it. That is too fast for a virus evolving and especially for a Coronavirus. I think the press and public are reading too much into this. We have a huge population study going on right now and we are finding new symptoms to predict infections and the severity. They were probably there all along, we are just now identifying their significance.
 
Let's talk about smell. The smell is a sensation that caused my chemical sensors in the tongue and nose. The nerves can repair their self for one year so you cannot say permanent for 12 months.
 
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