Inverse Posted – “Coronavirus Two Sensory Symptoms Are Warning Signs Of COVID-19 Infection”
Growing evidence suggests clinicians might have overlooked a key clue present before those hallmark symptoms hit: the sudden loss of smell or taste.
A study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice found this type of sensory dysfunction could be an early and reliable sign of Covid-19.
By tracking the symptoms of 93 Covid-19 patients admitted to an Italian hospital in March 2020, scientists discovered that nearly two-thirds of the group experienced losing their senses of smell and taste.
What was discovered – Twenty-two percent of those with an impaired sense of smell and taste reported it was their first symptom of infection. More systemic symptoms, like fever, typically followed 24 to 48 hours after the sensory symptoms first appeared.
These results suggest hyposmia and dysgeusia (the clinical terms for smell/taste dysfunction) are “central and key symptoms” that can aid an early diagnosis, study co-author Francesco Bax, tells Inverse. Bax is a neurology resident at Santa Maria della Misericordia University Hospital in Udine, Italy.
The team’s latest paper jibes with other studies finding similar numbers on sensory dysfunction. Mayo Clinic researchers recently reported the prevalence of smell blindness or taste distortion in people positive for Covid-19 was 28.6 times higher than that seen in people who test Covid-19 negative. They concluded anosmia and/or dysgeusia was one of the earliest signs of the disease.
Evidence from recent studies is already informing a new clinical response to Covid-19, Bax explains.
“Smell and taste dysfunctions are now recognized as symptoms of the mild phase of Covid-19 infection,” Bax says.
“This means that they are no more regarded as anecdotal observations like they were at the beginning of the pandemic, but rather as frequent and ‘normal’ infection symptoms.”
Read the entire article from Inverse
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