British health experts recommend that if you find yourself experiencing a loss of smell and taste, you isolate yourself in the same manner as has been advised for a fever and continuous cough, writes Will Murray in today's public service announcement
As we start the week, we are approaching 350,000 confirmed global cases of the COVID-19 virus, resulting in 13,600 fatalities, with almost 100,000 having recovered. In such an uncertain time, it is not surprising to hear a lot of wartime rhetoric, with leaders talking of a "blitz" or fighting spirit. It is, however, important people understand that this war against the virus requires a significantly different 'home-front' approach than in traditional conflicts. Whereas to 'keep calm and carrying on' is a commendable mantra following a terrorist attack or bombing, the current pandemic necessitates that - far from business-as-usual - we abandon our normal, every-day routines.
Whilst not all nations on the European continent have implemented a total lockdown, all governments are advising people to stay at home wherever possible and especially when exhibiting symptoms or living with someone that is. As more information is found about the virus, some medical experts have requested an update to the official list of symptoms. New evidence suggests that a loss of taste and smell - anosmia - could be a symptom in otherwise asymptomatic individuals. It is especially important to note that some, especially younger people, may experience no other symptoms of the virus but can still act as 'hidden carriers'. Whilst anosmia is yet to be acknowledged as a symptom by the World Health Organisation, Prof Claire Hopkins (President of the British Rhinological Society) and Prof Nirmal Kumar (President of ENT UK) released a joint statement this weekend showing the link and suggesting that affected individuals self-isolate.
If you find yourself experiencing a loss of smell and taste, experts recommend that you isolate yourself in the same manner as has been advised for a fever and continuous cough.
Sources and useful references:
Fifthsense - 'COVID-19 (Corona Virus) And Smell Loss - Guidance From Fifth Sense Medical Director, ENT UK And The British Rhinological Society'
Business Insider - 'If you've lost your sense of smell or taste, you could be a 'hidden carrier' of the coronavirus'
BBC News - 'Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore'
NHS advice on symptoms and staying at home
"In particular, may it inspire a renewed commitment to overcome rivalries among leaders of nations and those parties involved. Conflicts are not resolved through war."