Home Lifestyle Coronavirus update - researchers may have discovered the most reliable symptom

Coronavirus update – researchers may have discovered the most reliable symptom

Amid all this uncertainty and escalation, spotting the telltale signs of COVID-19 – the disease spawned from SARS-CoV- 2 – is more important than ever.

Reports have shown the viral disease can cause a spectrum of symptoms, prompting much confusion.

However, a new study conducted by researchers at UCL and UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), may have identified the most reliable indicator of COVID-19.

The key finding is that acute loss of sense of smell and/or taste appears to be the most common indicator of the viral disease.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus symptoms update: If your eyes turn this colour you may have COVID-19

It has long been established that COVID-19 can cause loss or reduced ability to smell (anosmia) or taste, without cough or fever.

The NHS has listed it as one of the main symptoms, alongside a new, continuous cough and fever.

According to the researchers, it’s the first time a precise figure has been calculated, however.

For this study, researchers looked at a group of people in the community with loss of smell and/or taste, to see how many had antibodies.

Since a high proportion of this group had antibodies, this suggests smell and/or taste loss is highly predictive of a COVID-19 infection.

Although self-isolation and testing on the basis of smell or taste loss alone is recommended in the UK, at a global level few countries recognise loss of smell and/or taste as symptoms and advise testing and self-isolation.

The majority are focused on fever and respiratory symptoms.

Researchers said this must change in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic.

Lead author Professor Batterham said: “As we approach a second wave of infections, early recognition of COVID-19 symptoms by the public together with rapid self-isolation and testing will be of vital importance to limit disease spread.

“Acute loss of sense of smell needs to be considered globally as a criterion of self-isolation, testing, and contact tracing.

“Our findings suggest that a key public health message is that people who notice a loss in their ability to smell everyday house-hold odours such as garlic, onions, coffee, and perfumes should self-isolate and seek PCR testing.”

What should I do if I lose my taste and/or sense of smell?

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According to the NHS, if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  • Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  • Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Source:Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed

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