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Scientists called unexpected symptoms of the latent form of coronavirus

Anyone experiencing a sudden loss of sense of smell can be a "hidden carrier" of coronavirus, even if it has no other symptoms, according to data compiled by leading rhinologists in the UK, writes Business Insider.

Photo: Shutterstock

In South Korea, China, and Italy, about a third of patients with a positive COVID-19 test also reported a loss of smell, known as anosmia or hyposmia.

“In South Korea, where testing has become more widespread, 30% of patients with a positive test had anosmia as the main symptom,” said British Society of Rhinologists Professor Claire Hopkins and President of the Otorhinolaryngology Association, Professor Nirmal Kumar, in a joint statement.

The professors say many patients around the world who have tested positive for COVID-19 only show symptoms of loss of smell and taste - without the generally recognized symptoms of fever and cough.

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“There have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms,” the statement said. "Iran has reported a sudden increase in isolated anosmia cases, and many colleagues from the US, France and Northern Italy have similar experiences."

The absence of other recognized symptoms in these cases may mean that they are unlikely to be tested and isolated, which means that they can contribute to the rapid spread of the disease throughout the world.

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“These patients may be some of the hidden carriers that contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19,” they added.

Young people may not have the general symptoms of coronavirus

Prof Kumar said younger patients, in particular, may only show a loss of smell or taste, without the more common signs of coronavirus - high fever and persistent coughing.

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“Young patients do not have any significant symptoms such as cough and fever, but they may simply have a loss of smell and taste, suggesting the presence of coronavirus,” he said.

The professors called for everyone who discovered symptoms of loss of taste or smell to isolate themselves for seven days to prevent further spread of the disease.

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