Day after day, new discoveries are being made about the COVID-19 infection and what symptoms you should look out for. Most commonly, we’ve been informed that a cough, fever and shortness of breath are the main symptoms associated with this viral infection, along with common cold-like symptoms and diarrhea. More recently, reports out of Europe and now the United States indicate that a loss of sense of smell and taste in the absence of other allergy symptoms including nasal congestion and a runny nose may indicate the possibility of COVID-19 infection.
According to ENT UK, “There have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms – this has been widely shared on medical discussion boards by surgeons from all regions managing a high incidence of cases.” In milder cases, there have been numerous patients who are positive for COVID-19 with anosmia as their main symptom in South Korea, China, Italy, Germany Iran, France and now the United States.
This new information could possibly be helpful when screening for COVID-19. If someone is experiencing a loss of smell and/or taste with no other symptoms, they can be instructed to self-isolate and halt the further spread of this virus. Unfortunately, patients who are mostly asymptomatic except for anosmia/hyposmia do not meet the current criteria to be tested for COVID-19. If you or someone you know experiences any or all of these symptoms, we recommend that self-isolation should be seriously considered until you can speak to your ENT specialist or Primary Care Provider.
To learn more or to consult with one of our Ocean ENT physicians, please call 732-281-0100. The Ocean ENT office is now open from 9 AM to 1 PM on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Our office will assist you in setting up Telemedicine Video Visits with an Ocean ENT physician.