If you still believe COVID-19 is the same as the flu, think again. While flu-like symptoms could be a sign of COVID-19, you might also lose your sense of smell and taste. Now, experts say that loss of smell and taste might be the tell-tale sign of COVID-19 infection.
CNN reports that researchers from the UK made the discovery. Moreover, the researchers said that even if you don’t feel other symptoms, you should self-isolate right away once you lose your sense of smell or taste.
The researchers also suggest that governments must consider the loss of smell or taste as a key indicator that a person needs to isolate and get tested.
How Did the COVID-19 Study Go?
The researchers looked at 590 volunteers who’ve recently lost their sense of smell or taste for the study. After the study, they found that 567 of the volunteers tested positive for COVID-19.
CNN adds that 77.6% of the 567 COVID-19 cases had COVID antibodies. According to the study, 80.4% of the subjects without smell or taste tested positive for the coronavirus. Out of the 567 subjects, 40% did not develop a fever or cough.
According to the researchers, losing your sense of smell or taste “is a highly specific symptom of COVID-19.”
Anosmia and COVID-19
Early in the pandemic, scientists already noted anosmia, or the loss of the sense of smell, as a COVID-19 symptom. The UK added anosmia to its official list of symptoms last May.