Loss of Smell

June 22, 2020

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Anchor lead: What does loss of smell tell us about COVID-19? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Loss of smell is one symptom of COVID-19 infection, but it’s unclear whether that takes place early for many and then may continue in those who develop more severe disease. That’s according to Andrew Lane, director of rhinology and sinus surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Lane: As patients begin to describe their symptoms or people weren’t sure if they had the disease or not started to report their symptoms it became evident that there was a lot of olfactory loss going on. That can range from complete loss of smell to something more subtle like sometimes a decrease in your sense of smell or a change in your sense of smell. Currently the numbers are hard to tease apart so of the patients who are very sick who come in to the hospital, a very large percentage of them have olfactory loss, whether or not it was an early symptom is kind of hard to tell at that point they’ve already presented with it.  :32

Lane says loss of smell now is listed as a common symptom of COVID-19 infection by the CDC and that those who experience it should at least self-isolate and pay attention to their symptoms. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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