LONDON: A research conducted by scientists from the United Kingdom (UK) has shown that loss of sense of smell or taste is the most reliable indicator of COVID-19 infection. They said that this should be now recognised globally as the criterion for self-testing, contact tracing and testing.
This study examined the health data from the primary care centres from London and has been published in Public Library of Science (PLOS) Medicine. The study found that around 78 per cent of the patients who reported sudden loss of taste or smell in the pandemic, contained SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19 infection.
According to the researchers, this is the first time that such numbers are calculated. Rachel Batterham, Lead Author and Professor, University College London (UCL) Medicine, said that as we approach the second wave of infections, most crucial step towards prevention will be the early recognition of symptoms. Early identification and rapid self-quarantine and testing will be of the utmost importance., he added.
A total of 590 participants were enrolled by web-based platform where they answered some questions regarding loss of smell and touch. Of these, around 567 had some interaction with medical professionals who confirmed their history of symptoms and probable SARS-CoV2 infections.
It was found that around 77.6 per cent of the 567 people had SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19 antibodies. Surprisingly, around 39.8 per cent of these do not have any cough or fever which proves that loss of smell or taste is three times more accurate symptom.