London: A loss of sense of smell could be one of the telltale
signs of Covid-19, various doctor groups have suggested while exhorting such
people to isolate themselves for at least seven days even without any other
“We really want to raise awareness that this is a sign of
infection and that anyone who develops loss of sense of smell should
self-isolate,” Prof. Claire Hopkins, President of the British Rhinological
Society, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.
Hopkins and Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK, issued a joint
statement urging health care workers to use personal protective equipment while
treating any patients who have lost their senses of smell. They also advised
against performing nonessential sinus endoscopy procedures since the virus
replicates in the nose and the throat and an exam can prompt coughs or sneezes
that expose the doctors.
Two ENT specialists in Britain have already been contracted
with the infection, Dr. Hopkins said. Earlier reports from Wuhan, China, the
epicenter, had warned that ear, nose and throat specialists as well as eye
doctors were infected and dying in large numbers, she added.
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Otolaryngology also come out with a similar finding. The counting anecdotal evidence indicates that lost or reduced sense of smell and loss of taste are significant symptoms associated with Covid-19, and that they have been seen in patients who ultimately tested positive for the virus with no other symptoms, a post on its website said.