While there is currently no scientifically proven link between anosmia (loss of smell) and Covid-19, more and more experts are saying the symptom is a strong indicator, particularly among those with few other symptoms.
Gilbert Greub, head of the microbiology department at the CHUV hospital in Lausanne, is one such expert. “Given the widespread Covid-19 epidemic, I think that everyone who has a problem tasting or a problem smelling has a very high likelihood of testing positive and should be tested. The majority of this group will be positive with this illness”, said Greub, according to RTS.
ENT UK, an association of ear, nose and throat (ENT) physicians in the UK, published similar findings on the association between Covid-19 and loss of smell. In a report it said: “There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia. In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia. In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.”
According to Basile Landis, an ENT specialist at HUG hospital in Geneva, there are two clear parallel trends: a rising epidemic of a new virus and a sudden and significant rise in the number of people reporting trouble smelling.
A team at Kings College London found that among those who had a confirmed coronavirus infection, 59% reported loss of smell or taste, according to the BBC.
Given what we know, it seems prudent for those who have lost their smell to consider themselves positive and contagious.