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Coronavirus UK – the peculiar sense of taste that could signal you have COVID-19

Coronavirus continues to tear at the fabric of British society, with the caseload rising in different regions. The result has been increased tension between Downing Street and regional governments as both parties battle it out over the imposition of localised lockdowns. Ordinary citizens are seemingly caught in the cross-hairs of all this chaos, trying to get on with their lives while remaining safe.

She said: “I love nice meals, going out to restaurants, having a drink with friends but now all that has gone.

“Meat tastes like petrol and prosecco tastes like rotting apples. If my partner, Craig, has a curry the smell is awful.

“It even comes out of his pores so I struggle to go anywhere near him.”

Another COVID-19 patient told the BBC earlier this month: “Everything that had really strong flavours, I couldn’t taste. I was mostly eating Jamaican food and I couldn’t taste it at all, everything tasted like paper or cardboard.”

The prevalence of COVID-19-induced loss of smell and taste has been indicated in a number of studies.

One recent study conducted by Northwestern Medicine observed a loss of taste in nearly 16 percent of patients while a loss of smell was observed in 11 percent of patients.

The study involved 509 patients whose coronavirus symptoms were so severe as to require hospitalisation.

How should I respond to this symptom?

According to the NHS, if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible.

“Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test,” advises the health body.

As it explains, anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.

Other main symptoms include:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).


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