A new study argues that the loss of taste and smell could be linked to coronavirus.
The team of researchers gathered information from more than 2.5 million people in the U.K. and 170,000 people in the U.S. who answered a set of questions that were addressed with the help of a dedicated smartphone app over a month.
A part of the participants mentioned the results from the PCR diagnostic tests, which are used to determine the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for COVID-19. Up to 65% of 6,4000 U.K. residents who tested positive for the virus mentioned the loss of taste and smell as a symptom. Approximately 67% out of the 765 US residents who also tasted positive have also reported the loss of these senses. It was also mentioned by 20% of all people who tested negative.
By harnessing the data, the team of researchers created a list of symptoms that could be easily linked to the presence of the virus. The list includes the loss of taste and smell, severe fatigue, loss of appetite, and coughing. It is estimated that 140,000 out of the 800,000 users who reported symptoms may have COVID-19.
Loss of taste and smell are acknowledged as a less-common symptom by the World Health Organization. The authors of the study argue that the symptoms should be moved higher on the list to facilitate patient screening.
Several countries that have been affected by the coronavirus are preparing to ease some of the restrictions as the need to reboot the economy becomes a priority. Some rules will remain available, and the intensity of the restrictions has varied from one country to another, but it is already clear that they aren’t sustainable for extended time limits. Protests have also taken place in some places, especially in the U.S.
The study has been published in a medical journal.