Anosmia could be an early indicator of COVID-19

Anosmia could be an early indicator of COVID-19

An unexpected loss of the sense of smell or anosmia may be the first sign for a person with the new coronavirus infection, according to a new study.

Anosmia develops as the virus causes swelling in the olfactory mucosa. This leads to loss of smell which may be a key clinical indicator in otherwise symptom-free carriers of COVID-19. 

Following the findings in the study, the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery has proposed adding anosmia and dysgeusia to the list of screening items for potential novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Already, there is evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia. More than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia in Germany. 

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