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Doctors say loss of smell, taste could be a symptom of coronavirus

Doctors say loss of smell, taste could be a symptom of coronavirus

 New information seems to come out every day about the coronavirus.

It’s been known since day one that symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but, there is something else doctors say they are noticing.

Around the world, doctors are starting to believe that loss of smell and taste may also be a common sign of the coronavirus for some people.

“We’ve seen this out of China and Italy as sometimes one of the early symptoms of mild disease,” Dr. Keith Forwith, from Louisville’s Advanced ENT and Allergy, said.

Forwith, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, said he’s seeing it in his office, too.

“We just had a family with a mother and son who both had loss of smell with a little bit of nasal congestion and they were both positive for COVID,” he said.

Taste and smell are linked; your ability to smell influences the way things taste.

“About 70 percent of our sense of taste is actually our sense of smell,” Forwith said. “Most of why you can tell one good coffee from another one, or good wine from another, is because our sense of smell.”

Forwith said what people should watch out for is how long their sense of smell and taste is gone.

“If you have a little bit of congestion and you don’t smell the evening meal very well, but you smell the bacon perfectly fine in the morning, that’s not what we are talking about,” Forwith said. “What we’ve seen is that people lose their smell for several days.”

Loss of smell and taste isn’t officially on the World Health Organization’s list of coronavirus symptoms, but Forwith said it’s well-documented among ear, nose, and throat doctors. Forwith added that if you notice a loss of taste and smell, don’t panic, as it’s not a reason to show up at a hospital. It’s another reason to distance yourself from others and practice good hand hygiene.

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