A new symptom of Covid-19 could be the loss of taste and smell and anyone experiencing this should self-isolate, experts have warned.
The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology, which represents ear, nose and throat specialists (ENTs), say asymptomatic patients – ones who do not have a fever or a cough – could instead show a loss of senses.
In a statement they said: ‘Evidence from other countries is that the entry point for the coronavirus is often in the eyes, nose and throat areas.
‘We have also identified a new symptom (loss of sense of smell and taste) that may mean that people without other symptoms but with just the loss of this sense may have to self-isolate – again to reduce the spread of the virus.’
The warning came after two of the association’s consultants tested positive for coronavirus. It is thought the specialists ‘most likely’ became infected in the course of their daily work, from people who did not show any regular symptoms.
Under current guidelines, anyone experiencing a high temperature or continuous cough is asked to self-isolate to stop the spread of the novel disease.
But one of the Britain’s leading ENTs, Professor Nirmal Kumar, said young people may be more prone to the new symptoms.
‘In young patients, they do not have any significant symptoms such as the cough and fever, but they may have just the loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are lodging in the nose.’