According to ear, nose, and throat doctors in the UK, there appears to be a correlation with COVID-19 and the sudden loss of smell or taste in those who are infected. The thing is, they do not have to experience any other symptoms, like coughing or a high fever, for this to occur. So, “hidden carriers” could be completely asymptomatic, or find that their ability to smell and/or taste that fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies just disappeared.

Leading rhinologists have gathered enough evidence to support this finding. Business Insider reported that in “South Korea, China, and Italy, about a third of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have also reported a loss of smell, known as anosmia or hyposmia.”

It is concerning to think of the many people around the world who may present this phenomenon of a sudden loss of sense of smell or taste (ageusia) for several days may be carrying on with some type of normalcy during this period of social distancing. Just because they may not seem sick does not mean that they aren’t infected. It is recommended that those who experience this symptom, even if no others are present, should be tested for the coronavirus and self-isolate for at least a week so they do not contribute to the exponential spread of the disease.

It should be noted that we are entering a period of heavy pollen count (thank you, mild winter) and that the sudden loss of smell and/or taste is sometimes common among those who suffer from allergies, like myself. It should only be a cause for concern in the absence of allergy symptoms or sinusitis, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

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