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First sign of COVID-19 might be loss of smell, taste, local doctor says

First sign of COVID-19 might be loss of smell, taste, local doctor says

Losing your sense of smell can be an early sign that you have COVID-19, a local doctor said.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that the loss of smell also gives you quite a bit of loss of taste. Because most of the sensation of taste comes from the loss of smell,” said Dr. Keith Forwith, a thyroid and parathyroid surgery specialist with Advanced ENT and Allergy.

Forwith said he had two patients who reported loss of their sense of smell — but no other signs of the virus. And now, he said, they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

The illness also can come with a little bit of nasal congestion, he said. The COVID-19 congestion differs from those experienced by allergy sufferers in that they generally see excessive congestion that builds up over time.

Forwith also said that if you do experience a loss of the sense of smell, called anosmia, it’s not a reason to panic — though you should take steps to prevent others from potentially getting the virus.

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