Researchers believe they may have discovered a new symptom, even for those like actor Idris Elba who came up showing no symptoms, of the coronavirus. British doctors have learned that an early sign of COVID-19 may be loss of smell and taste.
The initial test called on adults who had suffered from anosmia, the loss of smell, and ageusia, which is a diminished sense of taste. This group was told to go into self-isolation for seven days to slow down the spread. Professor Claire Hopkins, who is the president of the British Rhinological Society, noted that this could "contribute to slowing transmission and save lives." The doctors involved hope to make this new development more common knowledge in the world's fight against the pandemic.
The New York Times story also explains that this has been a common symptom in Italy. Doctors there have noted that in some cases, the only signs of the coronavirus in some patients is a loss of smell or taste.
“Almost everybody who is hospitalized has this same story,” said Dr. Marco Metra, chief of
the cardiology department at the main hospital in Brescia. “You ask about the patient’s wife or husband. And the patient says, ‘My wife has just lost her smell and taste but otherwise she is well.’ So she is likely infected, and she is spreading it with a very mild form.”
Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is definitely one of the symptoms, haven’t been able to smell anything for the last 4 days. Anyone experiencing the same thing?— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) March 22, 2020
On a similar note, Utah Jazz center, Rudy Gobert, who was the first player in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19, recently posted on his Instagram about suffering from a loss of taste. At first, Gobert was not aware that he had contracted the virus, leading to his suspect decision to jokingly rub all of the microphones which has since been criticized by his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive.
While Mitchell didn't specify whether or not he suffered from a diminished sense of taste or smell, he was asymptomatic, which he said was the scariest thing about the whole diagnosis.
"I'm asymptomatic. I don't have any symptoms," he said. "I could walk down the street. If it wasn't public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn't know it. I think that's the scariest part the virus: you may seem fine, be fine and you never know who you may be talking to who they're going up to."
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