Doctors in the U.S. believe another symptom should be added to the list of possible warning signs that a person should be tested for the COVID-19 virus.

A lack of smell (anosmia) should be added per the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. They also believe there's growing evidence that lack of taste (dysgeusia) is also a symptom. According to a post on their website,

Anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating from sites around the world that anosmia and dysgeusia are significant symptoms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms.

The organization goes on to "propose that these symptoms be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection... should alert physicians to the possibility of COVID-19 infection and warrant serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these individuals."

ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England first asked for the loss of smell to be added as a screening tool for the virus. Their online statement reads, in part,

 Previously described coronaviruses are thought to account for 10- 15% cases. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that the novel COVID-19 virus would also cause anosmia in infected patients...

There is potential that if any adult with anosmia but no other symptoms was asked to self-isolate for seven days, in addition to the current symptom criteria used to trigger quarantine, we might be able to reduce the number of otherwise asymptomatic individuals who continue to act as vectors, not realizing the need to self-isolate.

Currently confirmed symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

Doctors continue to learn more about COVID-19 and its symptoms each day. Please stay home if you can, and continue to practice social distancing if you have to go out to keep you, your family, and others safe.

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