Anyone experiencing a sudden loss of smell could be a “hidden carrier” of the coronavirus, even if they have no other symptoms, according to evidence compiled by leading Rhinologists in the UK.
In South Korea, China and Italy, around a third of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have also reported a loss of smell, known as anosmia or hyposmia, leading ear, nose and throat experts in the UK have reported.
“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,” President of the British Rhinological Society Professor, Clare Hopkins, and the president of the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, Professor Nirmal Kumar, said in a joint statement.
The professors said that many patients around the world, who have tested positive for COVID-19, are only presenting the symptoms of loss of smell and taste, without the more commonly recognised symptoms of high fever and coughing.
“There have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms,” the statement says.