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Altered taste and smell may be attributed to COVID-19

Tero Vesalainen/iStock(NEW YORK) — As Americans look up possible symptoms of COVID-19 to see if they qualify for a test, a new theory that the virus affects one’s taste and smell has been floated by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

In a statement, the group says the alteration of taste and smell — medically known as dysgeusia and anosmia, respectively — has been seen in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating from sites around the world that anosmia and dysgeusia are significant symptoms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms,” The group reports.

Dr. D.J. Verret, about 40 percent of patients recovering from a viral illness report a loss of smell. “We know from previous research that coronavirus infections are seen in post-viral anosmia. It is therefore not a stretch to think that COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus, can result in smell or taste disturbances,” theorizes Verret.

However, these findings could become further obscured as allergy season approaches now that spring has arrived, which also has similar impacts on individuals. 

Currently, the symptoms of COVID-19 as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  

There currently is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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