Researchers based in the United Kingdom write in their study that people who lose either smell or taste should consider self-isolation, even if they have no other symptoms.
The team studied 590 volunteers who experienced a new loss of smell or taste and tested 567 of them for Covid-1
About 40% of those who tested positive for antibodies had no fever or cough.
Batterham and her colleagues also found that participants with only loss of odor were almost three times more likely than patients with only loss of taste to have Covid-19 antibodies, and participants with combined loss of smell and taste were four times more likely to have antibodies.
“These findings suggest that odor loss is a highly specific symptom of Covid-19, as opposed to taste loss, despite their comparable frequency,” the researchers wrote in the study.
The study recruited volunteers between April 23 and May 14, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in London. The findings come with some limitations, including that the study did not include a comparative group of people who had not lost their sense of smell and / or taste.
At the time, a government statement said, “All individuals should isolate themselves if they develop a new, prolonged cough or fever or anosmia.”