Losing your sense of smell and taste might be symptoms of “hidden carriers” of coronavirus who don’t have any other signs of illness. When NBA star Rudy Gobert who tested positive for the novel virus said he’s lost his sense his smell and taste over the last few days after testing positive for coronavirus, a British medical group said they have observed these symptoms in potential carriers.
Gobert tweeted: “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?”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptoms of the novel virus are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some patients have also report digestive issues like diarrhea.
Loss of sense of smell – known as anosmia, or hyposmia – leading to reduced ability to smell or detect odors; and dysgeusia, which is a distortion of the sense of taste, have been observed in a growing number of coronavirus patients in several countries.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is pushing to add these symptoms to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection, particularly when these sensory losses are isolated — that is, not accompanied by any signs of respiratory illness.
Dr Claire Hopkins, an ENT specialist and Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK, an association of ear, nose and throat doctors, issued a statement Saturday about these particular symptoms. They suggested that adults should self-quarantine if they exhibit a loss of sense of smell — even if they don’t feel sick and haven’t tested positive yet for coronavirus.
“I think these patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, these patients do not meet current criteria for testing or self-isolation,” the statement said.