Title: Loss of Smell and Taste Identified as Reliable Indicators of Covid-19
As of: December 10, 2023, 7:15 p.m
By: Tanja Banner
Distinguishing between Covid-19 and flu is not easy due to their common symptoms. But according to researchers, two symptoms are “very reliable indicators” of Corona.
Frankfurt – Since the beginning of the year 2020, the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 has spread from China to the whole world in a short period of time; Since March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been talking about one Pandemic. A lot of research has been done since then, so that we now know which symptoms of illness with Covid-19 can bring with it.
Covid-19 and flu are not easy to distinguish based on symptoms. Researchers have found out which two symptoms are “very reliable indicators” for an infection with the Coronavirus. They recommend that governments worldwide should focus more on these two Corona symptoms.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 include fever, cough, loss of smell and/or taste, runny nose, pneumonia, headache and body aches, shortness of breath, and sore throat.
Fever, cough, runny nose, or headache and body aches are not good indications of an infection with the Coronavirus – after all, these symptoms also indicate flu (influenza); some of them also occur with a harmless cold. Recently, however, researchers at University College London have shown that loss of sense of smell or taste are “very reliable indicators” for an infection with the Coronavirus.
The researchers examined data from health centers in London and found that 78 percent of people who had a sudden loss of sense of smell or taste carried Corona antibodies within themselves. They published their results in the specialist journal “Plos Medicine”. What the researchers also found out: 40 percent of the people who were infected with Coronavirus and had lost their sense of taste or smell did not complain of cough or fever.
“Early detection of Covid-19 symptoms along with rapid self-isolation and testing are of great importance to curb the spread of the disease, emphasizes the study’s lead author Rachel Batterham. “Our findings show that the loss of smell and taste is a very reliable indicator,” explains Batterham and adds: “If we can control the spread of the Pandemic, governments around the world should use loss of sense of smell and taste as a criterion for self-isolation, corona-testing and contact tracing.”
Together with the study, which is also reported on by merkur.de* and wa.de*, Batterham’s research team also published some quotes from people who describe how the loss of their sense of smell or taste caused by Coronavirus felt. Several sufferers describe that their noses were not blocked – but suddenly they couldn’t smell anything anymore. Neither garlic nor aromatherapy oils nor the smell of the burning apartment next door – “it felt like my nerves were burned out,” is how one person describes it. When it comes to the sense of taste, the reports are similar: they couldn’t even handle particularly hot chilies or hot sauces, drinks were “just liquid” and had no taste.
If you experience symptoms that could indicate an infection with the coronavirus, the first thing you should do is isolate yourself at home. You should then call your family doctor or on-call medical service. The website of the Federal Ministry of Health, gegencorona.de, states that the doctor will decide on how to proceed: will a corona-test be carried out? Should you go to the hospital or be cared for on an outpatient basis?
The situation is different if you have had contact with a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus. In this case, you should – regardless of symptoms – contact the health department, which will recommend further measures and decide on the next steps. (Tanya Banner)
*wa.de and merkur.de are part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital central editorial team.]
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