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Loss of smell, taste added to list of Coronavirus symptoms in UK
By Mirror | Updated May 19, 2020 at 13:46 EAT
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SUMMARY

Anosmia is the medical name for the complete loss of smell. It can be caused by allergies, a cold or flu, a sinus infection, nasal polyps (which are growths in the nose), or COVID-19.

If you are experiencing anosmia, and you can't smell anything, you should self-isolate even if you do not have any other coronavirus symptoms.

The NHS has added anosmia to the official list of symptoms for COVID-19.

This means that anyone experiencing the loss of their sense of smell or taste must now self-isolate themselves for seven days (and their household must self-isolate for 14 days).

Before now, a dry, continuous cough and a fever were the only coronavirus symptoms on the UK's official list - even though many others have been reported by the global medical community.

Here's how to tell if you're suffering from anosmia, and when you should self-isolate:

What is anosmia?

Anosmia is the medical name for the complete loss of smell. It can be caused by allergies, a cold or flu, a sinus infection, nasal polyps (which are growths in the nose), or COVID-19.

If you are experiencing anosmia, and you can't smell anything, you should self-isolate even if you do not have any other coronavirus symptoms.

If you have a noticeably reduced sense of smell (which is called hyposmia), but it hasn't entirely disappeared, you should still self-isolate.

The NHS has also added the loss of the sense of taste to the coronavirus symptoms list, so if you are struggling to taste your food you should also self-isolate.

What are the other symptoms of coronavirus?

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In the UK, a dry, continuous cough and a fever are the only other officially recognised coronavirus symptoms.

The World Health Organisation also lists tiredness as a common symptom, and aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, a rash on the skin or the discolouration of the fingers and toes as less common symptoms.

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