Science Round-Up: Researchers suggest loss of taste and smell are primary symptoms of the coronavirus

April 21st, 2020 10:10 am| by Valmira Gjoni
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A new Danish study suspects that a loss of taste and smell might be the first primary symptom of the coronavirus.

Nerve receptors in both the nose and mouth appear to be affected at the same time, the study suggests, due to the presence of anosmia and ageusia.

The study cites the case of a doctor in his early 30s who recently tested positive for COVID-19 after becoming aware he had lost his sense of taste and smell. He had no other symptoms or obvious signs of infection.

No absolute proof
The experience mirrors claims in other countries. Milan, for example, reported that 40 percent of its coronavirus patients had suffered taste and smell loss. Similarly, patients in Iran and South Korea reported the same symptoms.

However, there are is no scientific proof as yet. In Denmark, the study mainly cites one case, while abroad patients have been asked whether they can taste and smell, but not tested.

Tests underway
The study accordingly intends to test the loss of taste with taste-spray screenings taste-drop tests and taste-strips, and the loss of smell with Sniffin ‘Sticks’.

Tests have been ongoing in collaboration with the Flavor Clinic at Holstebro Hospital and Aarhus University Hospital.


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