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expert reaction to the possibility that loss of taste and smell could be a symptom of COVID-19

There have been reports in the media that the loss of taste or smell have been associated with people suffering from COVID-19.


Prof Carl Philpott, Professor of Rhinology & Olfactology, Norwich Medical School, UEA, said:

“Coronaviruses have previously been associated with what we refer to as post-viral olfactory loss– this is smell loss that persists after a cold. There are many respiratory viruses that can potentially cause problems with the smell receptors. So far with Covid-19, the smell loss appears to be transient but only as time elapses will we know how many people have a more permanent loss.

“The President of ENT UK (, Prof Nirmal Kumar recommends that people with this symptom should consider self-isolating. He has also made these findings available to the CMO.

“We’re not yet aware yet as to whether this symptom is common or a sign of a poor outcome but certainly recommend a warning sign to self-isolate and if heeded may help to prevent spread.”


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:


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