Important Symptoms Of COVID-19: Numerous international studies point to the loss of smell and taste as one more important symptom of COVID-19. Anosmia (severe loss of smell), or hyposmia (milder loss), can appear as one of the first manifestations of the disease in different degrees and with different consequences. Loss of flavor is also often associated, with difficulty identifying sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.
Anosmia occurs as the debut of the disease, between 11 and 25% of COVID-19 cases. It occurs most commonly after other symptoms such as fever, myalgia, arthralgia, sore throat, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and headaches.
Why smell and taste are considered as Important Symptoms Of COVID-19
The mechanism responsible for the loss of smell is still unknown. We do not know if it is due to the local nasal lesion or because the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM is reached through the olfactory bulb.
How a loss of smell is detected and to what degree it occurs
Sudden loss of smell should raise suspicions about a SARSCOV2 infection. But it must be borne in mind that many causes cause alterations in smell: the most common is a cold and allergic patients can also have a loss of smell. The difference is that colds or rhinitis are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nasal mucus, congestion, or nasal packing.
In COVID-19, it has been shown that the total or partial loss of smell is accompanied by the loss of taste or flavor (alteration in the difficulty of recognizing sweet, salty, acidic, or bitter flavors) since the taste is the combination of the two senses, smell and taste.
There are still many questions to be resolved given that at present, the studies are still not very exhaustive because the patients were present, or had mild or moderate forms of SARSCOV2. Fortunately, in most cases, taste and smell alterations, in the case of COVID, recover spontaneously within weeks.
How a loss of smell could be treated as Important Symptoms Of COVID-19
Until now, the recovery of smell in COVID-19 has been favorable, spontaneous, and rapid. But there are many transient smell alterations and associated with infections by other viruses such as Epstein-Barr, rhinovirus, flu, even other coronaviruses. For example, when the cause is rhinitis, a cold, or some vitamin deficiency of some systemic diseases, we recommend simple treatments with antibiotics, corticosteroids, or some vitamin supplements.
In conclusion, it is essential that the sudden loss of smell, without nasal symptoms, alerts you to a possible contagion and, consequently, follows the established health recommendations.
In any case, people who have been infected by Coronavirus, or who have suffered any of these symptoms and could have passed it, should wait until they are recovered and have no related symptoms and visit the specialist in Otolaryngology to assess the degree of loss of smell or taste and see how to approach it.
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