Health Care

United Kingdom adds loss of smell and taste to COVID-19 symptom list

United Kingdom adds loss of smell and taste to COVID-19 symptom list”

"They are now confident that encouraging self-isolation with a loss of sense of smell or taste will pick up slightly more cases and help to further control the spread of the virus", the prime minister's official spokesman said.

The four senior advisers have jointly signed a letter updating the coronavirus symptoms list adding the loss of sense of smell or taste to the list.

And it reminds the public that all members of their household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.

- Hang on, haven't I heard about this before?

On Monday Professor Tim Spector, head of the department of genetic epidemiology and leader of the Covid symptom study app at King's College London, said 50,000 to 70,000 people in the United Kingdom with Covid-19 are not being told to self-isolate.

Loss of sense of smell is now considered a symptom of coronavirus in the UK.

England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said it was important to update advice at the right time "when we think it's going to make a difference moving forwards to how we pick up cases".

- Does this mean people have been walking around with these symptoms and infecting others?

More news: NY launches interactive map to find COVID testing sites near you

It comes as one senior scientist has criticised the UK's symptom list as not being as extensive as other countries.

Not at the moment. You do not need to keep self-isolating after seven days, unless you have a high temperature or are unwell, says the advice.

Downing Street said the UK's chief medical officers were continually reviewing symptoms of the virus based on advice from experts.

Prof Van-Tam said on April 3 that the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) had looked at the issue and concluded loss of smell or taste should not be added to the symptom list.

He said there were some cases where the symptom appeared early on "but in many cases, it does not appear early".

Other reported symptoms of coronavirus include muscle pain, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea, sore throat and chills, headache and rash.

"This is particularly pertinent in healthcare workers where reports of smell and taste disturbances have been commonplace, meaning the transfer of infection from colleagues to each other and to uninfected patients will have been happening unchecked".



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