MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, the main symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, body aches, and shortness of breath. However, new information on the deadly virus is coming out every day.
Health experts have now said that losing your sense of smell could be a symptom of COVID-19.
Dr. Sanjeet Rangarajan is an Assistant Otolaryngology Professor at UT Health Science Center.
Dr. Rangarajan told FOX13 this information just came out within the last few days and is rapidly changing.
“We’re able to synthesize the experience of our Asian colleagues and are learning more about what happened in the early days of the pandemic,” said Dr. Rangarajan.
Dr. Rangarajan explained that there are organs in our sinuses called olfactory neurons. Those nerve endings are what the virus targets when it enters your body.
“When the virus infects patients, it enters the lining of the sinuses and can attack these nerve endings which is what causes the loss of sense of smell.,” said Dr. Rangarajan.
Several COVID-19 patients reported a loss of their sense of both smell and taste, like NBA player Rudy Gobert, who shared that information in a tweet over the weekend.
It’s important to note that the CDC and WHO have not classified losing your sense of smell as a definitive symptom, but Dr. Rangarajan said several medical professionals are learning about this possible symptom and people need to be made aware.
“While it may not definitively indicate that they’re infected with this virus, it may be an important clue that they are an asymptomatic carrier and could shed the virus to others,” he said.
If you experience a loss of smell and the ability to taste, Dr. Rangarajan said you don’t need to panic. The best thing is to stay vigilant and stay in constant communication with your doctor while monitoring your symptoms. The American Academy of Otolaryngology has recommended that patients seriously consider self-quarantine for 14-days.
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