Most people feel they lose their sense of smell when they have the flu. However, this time losing the sense of smell can be a symptom of another disease.
Claire Hopkins, professor of rhinology at King’s College London and consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon, said there was growing evidence that loss of sense of smell or anosmia was one of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Usually, people who have the flu experience anosmia because of a stuffy and stuffy nose. But Claire explained that this symptom she noticed occurred in four COVID-19 patients who were young and healthy, and without experiencing other symptoms.
Claire’s confidence increased with the high incidence of anosmia within the vanguard of doctors who served in Italy. From this arises speculation, when the nose feels no longer able to smell or smell, it may be a sign of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection (no clinical symptoms).
According to Claire, if loss of sense of smell function is included as a symptom of COVID-19, it might reduce the risk of more widespread transmission.
“I think, if we can include the loss of the sense of smell as one of the symptoms, then that could be a reason for people to isolate themselves. We might really reduce the risk of further transmission,” Claire said, as quoted by Menshealth.
Because of this, researchers at Kings College London have successfully developed an application called COVID-19 Symptom Tracker. This application is used by British citizens to document experiences about the corona virus.
Claire said the purpose of this application was to be able to learn more about the emergence of COVID-19 infections. In addition, the purpose of this application is to identify which symptoms occur at the disease stage.
After conducting research, this week the application team released an official statement that loss of sense of smell is the strongest symptom of being able to predict whether the person is infected with the corona virus.
The Kings College London team found approximately 60 percent of patients who tested positive had lost their sense of smell. While in people whose test results were negative, only 18 percent had symptoms of anosmia.
Because of that, Claire concluded that anyone who experienced a loss of sense of smell had to isolate themselves and immediately do the COVID-19 test. Unfortunately, the exact timeline has not been found and certainly anosmia can occur.
In one patient it could occur first before being followed by other symptoms. Whereas in other patients can occur at about the same time with other symptoms. Likewise in some patients, loss of sense of smell is experienced after other COVID-19 symptoms appear.
Losing the ability to smell the aroma that occurs when the common cold is different, most COVID-19 patients are said to have no blockages. But in COVID-19 patients, the receptor part is one of the body parts that is damaged by the virus.
“The corona virus can damage nerves and then travel along the olfactory nerve and then to the olfactory bulb. Now fortunately, the olfactory nerves have the ability to recover. That is why they are used in research for spinal cord injuries, so they can regenerate and the sense of smell can return,” concluded Claire.