Loss Of Smell And Taste Added To Official List Of Coronavirus Symptoms
A loss of smell or taste has been added to the official list of coronavirus symptoms, with anyone who develops this being told that they must self-isolate for seven days.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the change had been made following a growing body of evidence which shows that the condition is closely linked with Covid-19.
In a briefing this morning Professor Van-Tam said: "The basic case definition for some time has been new continuous cough or fever - that will change to new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.
"The way we are describing anosmia is loss of - or a change - in your normal sense of smell. But we do understand that smell and taste are very closely linked in a neurological sense, and patients who experience a loss of sense of smell can also experience a loss of sense of taste."
Today the Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have issued updated advice on #coronavirus symptoms.
Self-isolate if you develop:
:arrow_right: a new continuous cough
:arrow_right: loss/change in your normal sense of smell or tastehttps://t.co/SW6HlJNiN1 pic.twitter.com/MVMDI62UIq
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) May 18, 2020
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According to Professor Van-Tam, a 'very close eye' was being kept on anosmia 'for quite some time'.
He continued: "It has been important to continue to look at that and be sure that we consider it and introduce it [as a symptom] at the right time when we think it's going to make a difference moving forwards to how we pick up cases.
"Let's be clear on this: this has been quite a difficult piece of science, because there's a distinction between [how] anosmia can occur with Covid-19 versus whether it occurs early to be a useful help in detecting more cases and also, of course, how common it is - and the estimates of how common it is have been very variable."
If someone identifies that have the symptoms, they should stay at home for seven days while other members of their household should stay home for 14 days - even if they don't have symptoms.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) listed a loss of smell and taste as a 'less common symptom' several weeks ago and other countries added the symptom off the back of that.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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