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Is loss of smell symptom of coronavirus disease infection?

09 July, 2020 Prajwal

End of 2019 the world was hit by a deadly virus COVID-19 and five months into year 2020 we are under world-wide lockdown. It is a global challenge with all the borders closed and researchers and doctors working around the clock to fight against it.

The virus was originated from China and travelled throughout other countries. The spread of coronavirus is through coming in contact with the infected person. And to prevent that from happening people are advised to stay home and stay safe.

It is responsible for over 4.5 million affected and thousands of deaths. Currently no vaccine is available so the only way out left for us is to take preventive measures. Test and trials are going out in many countries at this present moment but the results will take a long time to kick in.

Transmission can happen from two kinds of people Symptomatic and Asymptomatic. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 across the globe is clear evidence of the transmission from asymptomatic persons.  Asymptomatic person is the one who is infected with COVID-19 but does not show any symptoms.

They are more prone to spread the virus without even getting detected. 80% of cases in India are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. There is a possibility of catching COVID-19 from someone who is not ill at all or just have mild cough. So on safer side you can follow hygienic habits and increase your immunity. 

According to new studies it is said that loss of smell and taste may also be symptoms of corona virus. And they are likely to show after 3-4 days of being infected. The severity of loss of smell and taste depend upon how much seriously you are affected.

But at the same time not every patient has reduced sense of smell or completely lose the sense of smell. Losing sense of smell is known as anosmia. Loss of smell can be indicator of the initial stage of Covid-19 and if experienced consult your doctor.

Typical cause for loss of smell occurs in people who are already suffering from allergies, sinus infections or common cold. If you are having loss of smell without these conditions then it might be a symptom of Covid-19. In such condition contact your nearest healthcare center and sanitize your house. They probably would test the people around you also. In case of self-quarantine, you can order healthcare and Medicare products online.

There are two kinds of test available one is viral tests to determine if you have infection currently and the second one is antibody tests which tells you if you had a previous infection. it takes 1-3 weeks after the infection to show antibodies and is not detected before that.

The virus doesn’t show symptoms for 5-7 days after you are infected. Most people have mild symptoms and can be recovered by self-isolation at home, these people need not require testing.

People having serious symptoms of cough, high fever and shortness of breath should be hospitalized immediately.

There are different types of tests for determining corona virus

Swab test – a special swab is used to take sample from your nose or throat.

Nasal aspirate – a saline solution will be injected into your nose and then sample is taken with a light suction.

Tracheal aspirate – a thin tube with a torch, also known as a bronchoscope is inserted in your mouth to reach up to the lungs and sample is collected.

Sputum test – sputum is thick mucus that gets accumulated in the lungs and comes out with cough. A person is required to cough in a cup or swab is used to take sample from your nose. 

Blood test – blood sample is taken from your vein by inserting a needle.


Understanding more about loss of smell and other symptoms is necessary during this time. The virus is spreading rapidly irrespective of the lock down rules. You might not know the second you are infected and till then you would have become the carrier. Keep in mind these symptoms though and stay alert. But its better to prevent it by following healthy habits such as washing hands with soap for at least 20 sec, avoid touching our face frequently (especially nose, mouth and eyes). If you do not have soap and water near you use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.