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Some COVID-19 patients report loss of smell, taste

Most of us are monitoring ourselves and our loved ones for common symptoms of the coronavirus, but some of the virus’ other symptoms could be flying under the radar.

Cases of anosmia, where patients can’t smell and sometimes can’t taste, are going up.

“I started getting emails, phone calls probably two to three weeks ago asking if anyone else was seeing people with anosmia,” said Dr. James C. Denneny III, executive vice president and CEO for the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Denneny thinks it may be connected to the coronavirus.

“A lot of our members were seeing it as the only symptom for people who subsequently developed a positive testing and confirmed cases of coronavirus or COVID-19.”

His group said anosmia should be added to the list of screening tools for a possible COVID-19 infection.

The group ENTUK echoes that sentiment, saying that in Germany, two out of three coronavirus patients have anosmia.

In South Korea, 30 percent have it as their major presenting symptom.

But these are anecdotal stories, and as of now, anosmia isn’t recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization has a COVID-19 screening tool.

Denneny’s organization has a plan: reaching out to specialists across the United States to start compiling data.

“If it turns out that the rate is as high as Korea said – 30 percent – that would be something that the CDC would be interested in in potentially changing recommendations.”

CBS This Morning anchor Anthony Mason wasn’t on the set Wednesday because a family member he had contact with was experiencing a loss of taste and smell.

Mason was in self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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