The sudden loss of smell without nasal blockage or mucus production is a key indicator of COVID-19 infection. This finding was made by University of Cincinnati researchers and published in the journal Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.
Anosmia, the Sudden Loss of Smell
“COVID-19 is associated with a fairly unique combination of nasal symptoms: a sudden loss of one’s sense of smell, also known as ‘anosmia,’ without nasal obstruction,” said Ahmad Sedaghat, one of the researchers.
“The occurrence of sudden onset anosmia without nasal obstruction is highly predictive of COVID-19 and should trigger the individual to immediately self-quarantine with presumptive COVID-19,” he said.
Symptoms of COVID-19
After infection with COVID-19, patients report symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath two to fourteen days after exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends medical attention for those who have trouble breathing, persistent pressure or pain in the chest or confusion or inability to rouse. For most people, they are able to recover without hospitalization.
94 Percent With Anosmia and No Nasal Blockage Positive for COVID-19
Sedaghat’s finding was actually based on a review of 19 studies which describe the sinus and nasal disorders reported by those infected with COVID-19. One of the study referenced by Sedaghat showed that 94 percent out of 55 patients who had anosmia without nasal obstruction tested positive for COVID-19.
Sneezing Out Aerosol
The COVID-19 virus is produced in the lining of the nose and released into the mucus, according to Sedaghat. When someone who is infected sneezes, the mucus is expelled out as an aerosol containing the virus. Any surfaces the virus land on is then contaminated and the virus can be spread to others through contact with the contaminated surface.
Seek Medical Advice
Individuals who experience sudden loss of smell without symptoms like nasal blockage or mucus production, like those experienced in a cold, should reach out for medical advice and assistance. It’s good to be careful because an infected person may not experience symptoms for up to 14 days or more. During that time, if he goes on his business as usual, he may be spreading the virus further.