Loss of taste and odor will not be added to the Coronavirus Symptom Watchlist


Loss of taste and odor will “absolutely not” be added to the list of symptoms people should watch for when assessing whether they have coronavirus, confirmed the government.

The announcement comes after Matt Hancock Secretary of Health revealed that he had lost his sense of taste when he contracted Covid-19.

Hancock made his first public appearance Thursday after being self-insulated for seven days following a positive test for the virus.

Speaking at Friday, daily government update at Downing Street, Mr. Hancock said, “For me personally, I lost my sense of taste but it came back.

“I can assure people who have lost their sense of taste that the good news is that, in my case, it was not permanent. “

Researchers at King’s College London released evidence this week – based on British data – which indicate that almost 60% of coronavirus patients have experienced loss of taste and odor.

But the deputy chief medical officer of England said the experts’ opinion was that such developments should not be regarded as standard symptoms to watch for.

The advice was given to the government by the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam at the press conference.

“Regarding the loss of taste and odor, we actually asked our expert advisory committee, Nervtag, to look into this matter,” Professor Van-Tam told reporters.

“And there is anecdotal evidence in the published field that a proportion of people do lose their sense of taste and smell.

“However, we have looked at the data that exists, to find out if that alone is a symptom that it would be important to add to the case definition, and the answer to that from our experts is absolutely not. “

Professor Van-Tam’s comments come after scientists at King’s College, who tracked symptoms through their specially created app, said that the smell and taste were felt by the majority of people diagnosed with Covid-19.

As of March 31, the Covid Symptom Tracker app had more than 1.8 million registered users to log their symptoms – or lack thereof – daily.

About 59% of the 1.5 million people who signed up on March 29 and tested positive reported loss of smell and taste.

That compared with 18 percent of those who tested negative, data analysis showed.

Researchers said reports of these symptoms were much more effective at predicting a positive Covid-19 diagnosis than self-reported fever – a symptom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who remains ill in isolation after his first seven-day quarantine, currently knows.

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