With our continuous battle with Covid-19, we are sure that many of us have already encountered new pandemic-related checkpoints such us no entry until we pass temperature checks and answer some questions like our travel history. This might not be completely worthless, but currently it seems that these procedures became inherently flawed since more and more people with Coronavirus are asymptomatic and never get a fever.
Because many contagious people have no symptoms, using temperature checks to catch them is like trying to catch tennis balls in a soccer net: there are way too many that can possibly get through. The likelihood that someone with a normal temperature reading is Covid-free is at least 86%. And since Covid-19 can be contagious even before an infected person runs a fever, this makes missed cases more likely.
A recent study based on a worldwide survey of 25,000 patients by the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research found that Covid-19 is more strongly associated with smell and taste than with fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Several other studies have linked the loss of smell to the virus. Just like the recent study at the Mayo Clinic by Andrew Badley and his colleagues. They found out that Covid-19 patients were 27 times more likely than others to have lost their sense of smell than people without the virus, while less than three times as likely to report fever and/or chills.
“My impression is that anosmia is an earlier symptom of Covid-19 relative to fever, and some infected people can have anosmia and nothing else,” said physician Andrew Badley, who heads a virus lab at the Mayo Clinic. “So it’s potentially a more sensitive screen for asymptomatic patients.”
Reason for the Loss of Smell
If you’re wondering how the virus can deactivate both smell and taste, experts from Vanderbilt University said it’s because the virus causes an “inflammatory reaction” inside the nose, which can lead to the loss of smell neurons.
That’s why John Hayes , a professor in the department of food science at Penn State and director of the Sensory Evaluation Center in the College of Agricultural Sciences are raising awareness at the university that smell loss is an early symptom of Covid-19.
Here at Memory Cross, we highly recommends that if you are experiencing a loss of smell or loss of taste, you definitely should be thinking about self-quarantining and talking to your physician and having additional testing.
Self-Testing At Home
If you are personally worried about Covid-19 symptoms and want to test your own ability to smell you can undertake this simple test at home.
From the research studies so far, this novel Coronavirus often presents sudden and obvious smell loss in those affected. Which is why “Yes I can smell a scent” or “No I can’t smell anything” would be helpful. You can also use our Scent Test Strips to record your/your family’s ability to smell to enable you to decide if to seek medical advice and guidance and/or decide if you need to self-isolate.