• Dr. Catherine Meller

Can't smell or taste? Call your doctor NOW - the link between loss of smell, taste, and Coronavirus

As the worldwide literature expands with collective experience with Coronavirus, one thing is becoming clear, there is a relationship between our sense of smell and taste, and this viral pandemic.

Post viral anosmia - loss of sense of smell following a viral infection - is a common condition that may be temporary in most people, but for some, permanent. This can affect our ability to taste and enjoy food, and patients may complain of both loss of smell and taste, given the two are intricately linked.

There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia (reduced sense of smell). In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia. In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.

If you, or someone you know, are suffering sudden reduction or loss of smell or taste, PLEASE call your GP or ENT surgeon to discuss your condition and arrange appropriate investigation. It may be the ONLY sign of Coronavirus in an otherwise healthy person - the more clues we have to preventing the spread of Coronavirus, the better off we will be.

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