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Loss of taste, smell key COVID-19 symptoms: British scientists' study

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Loss of taste, smell key COVID-19 symptoms: British scientists' study

 

2020-03-31T231350Z_1_LYNXMPEG2U2IS_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-TASTE.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A poster in the window of a pharmacy is pictured in Royal Wharf as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Steven Watt

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Losing your sense of smell and taste may be the best way to tell if you have COVID-19, according to a study of data collected via a symptom tracker app developed by British scientists to help monitor the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

 

Almost 60% of patients who were subsequently confirmed as positive for COVID-19 had reported losing their sense of smell and taste, the data analyzed by the researchers showed.

 

That compared with 18% of those who tested negative.

 

These results, which were posted online but not peer-reviewed, were much stronger in predicting a positive COVID-19 diagnosis than self-reported fever, the researchers at King's College London said.

 

Of 1.5 million app users between March 24 and March 29, 26% reported one or more symptoms through the app. Of these, 1,702 also reported having been tested for COVID-19, with 579 positive results and 1,123 negative results.

 

Using all the data collected, the research team developed a mathematical model to identify which combination of symptoms - ranging from loss of smell and taste, to fever, persistent cough, fatigue, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite -was most accurate in predicting COVID-19 infection. 

 

"When combined with other symptoms, people with loss of smell and taste appear to be three times more likely to have contracted COVID-19 according to our data, and should therefore self-isolate for seven days to reduce the spread of the disease," said Tim Spector, a King's professor who led the study.

 

Spector's team applied their findings to the more than 400,000 people reporting symptoms via the app who had not yet had a COVID-19 test, and found that almost 13% of them are likely to be infected.

 

This would suggest that some 50,000 people in Britain may have as yet unconfirmed COVID-19 infections, Spector said.

 

Official figures showed confirmed cases rose 14% in Britain between Monday and Tuesday to 25,150 as of Tuesday at 0800 GMT. The government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals from coronavirus as of 1600 GMT on Monday.

 

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Grant McCool)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-01

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Posted (edited)

Once again "scientists" (omg, omg) have got it wrong. (Quite apart from the non-review by peer groups!!)

Losing one's sense of smell and taste is merely a gradual creeping condition of old age.  Or else I caught Covid-19 about 10 years ago!

Or else a lot of people are suffering from the common cold in UK.

7 hours ago, webfact said:

and should therefore self-isolate for seven days to reduce the spread of the disease," said Tim Spector, a King's professor who led the study.

What arrogance, what right has this spectral scientist to tell his fellow-Brits to go home and stay home?  I hope he gets the V-sign from a million British fingers.....

Edited by blazes
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, blazes said:

Once again "scientists" (omg, omg) have got it wrong. (Quite apart from the non-review by peer groups!!)

Losing one's sense of smell and taste is merely a gradual creeping condition of old age.  Or else I caught Covid-19 about 10 years ago!

Or else a lot of people are suffering from the common cold in UK.

What arrogance, what right has this spectral scientist to tell his fellow-Brits to go home and stay home?  I hope he gets the V-sign from a million British fingers.....

Did you consider you could be part of the 18% mentioned?

And how about loss of smell in combination with other symptoms?

Edited by stevenl
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Sometimes I also wish to lose the sense of smell, I shouldn't bear the bad smell reigning in most of this country ...

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3 hours ago, edwinchester said:

Well I can still smell my wife's awful shrimp paste so guess I don't have to worry right now.

My gf is pretty good always brushes teeth before bed,however she got drunk the other night,and must have forgot,i got a wiff of palaa on her breath,damn near choked.

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Thank goodness I can still smell the smoke in the air whenever I step outside. 😆👍

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well i am getting old ,but can smell and taste very well

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3 hours ago, blazes said:

Once again "scientists" (omg, omg) have got it wrong. (Quite apart from the non-review by peer groups!!)

Losing one's sense of smell and taste is merely a gradual creeping condition of old age.  Or else I caught Covid-19 about 10 years ago!

Or else a lot of people are suffering from the common cold in UK.

What arrogance, what right has this spectral scientist to tell his fellow-Brits to go home and stay home?  I hope he gets the V-sign from a million British fingers.....

Maybe you haven't heard, but the British government has been enforcing a lockdown for a week now. The scientist is only repeating government advice.

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

Loss of taste, smell key COVID-19 symptoms: British scientists' study

doesn"t matter because of that terrible British food. Maybe somebody like to stay without taste....😜

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This whole theory smells Fishy to me:tongue:

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3 hours ago, 30la said:

Sometimes I also wish to lose the sense of smell, I shouldn't bear the bad smell reigning in most of this country ...

Great post

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I don't really want to deride the findings of this research, but as I best recall isn't loss of smell and taste a common feature of coronavirus infections?

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