Researchers from University of California - San Diego have undertaken an assessment into one of the reported symptoms associated with the COVID-19 disease, relating to a profound loss of taste (ageusia) and the loss of the sense of smell (anosmia). The research findings show that 71 percent of people who tested positive for the coronavirus lost both senses. The loss of these senses lasted between 2 to 4 weeks.
The research indicates that is a person experiences a smell and taste loss, then the individual is up to 10 times more likely to have COVID-19 infection compared with any other cause of infection that might lead to these symptoms appearing.
While the most common initial sign of Coronavirus infection and the appearance of a COVID-19 remains fever; it also follows that feelings of fatigue together with a loss of smell and taste have been confirmed a extremely common initial symptoms. Based on this, experiencing the loss of smell and taste loss are early indicators of COVID-19.
To reach this position, the research group assessed 1,480 patients who reported flu-like symptoms. The patients underwent testing for COVID-19. Of the people screened, 102 patients tested positive for SAS-CoV-2 (1,378 individuals tested negative). based on a high number of the people found to have COVID-19 reporting a loss of both taste and smell, the researchers argue that an assessment for these senses - olfactory dysfunction - should form part of COVID-19 screening measures along with a measurement of temperature for signs of fever.
It was also of interest that of the 1,480 people screened, those who reported a sore throat were typically found not to have been infected with the virus.
The research findings have been reported to the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology
. The research paper is titled "Association of chemosensory dysfunction and Covid-19 in patients presenting with influenza-like symptoms."