• Monday, June 27, 2022


UK adds loss of smell and taste to list of Covid-19 symptoms

For several weeks, Eastern Eye has been reporting that community leaders, MPs, and health professionals have been urging the government to use local teams to meet the needs of local people (Photo:NEIL HALL/AFP via Getty Images).

By: Eastern Eye Staff

THE UK has added the loss of smell and taste to its official list of Covid-19 symptoms including fever and new continuous cough — a step that it hopes could help pick up more cases of the novel coronavirus.

“From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia,” the UK’s four chief medical officers said in a joint statement.

“Anosmia is the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.”

Other possible symptoms of Covid-19 include fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite, but have not been included in the basic case definition.

By adding anosmia the sensitivity of new case pick-up could increase to 94 percent from 91 percent with just new cough and fever, said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer.

When asked why the United Kingdom has lagged other countries in including the loss of smell in its official list, Van-Tam said: “The question is: Which of those symptoms actually make the interception of cases better or worse?”

Eastern Eye

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