Day by day COVID-19 cases globally keep growing. In Kenya, we have reported at least 900 cases and 50 deaths since the virus made its way into the country. Most people who catch the virus develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization if they self isolate and take good care of themselves during the process.
Among the most common symptoms of COVID-19 range from fever, dry cough, tiredness, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
chest pain or pressure. Other less common symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, headache and now a using a sense of smell and taste has become a new symptom that the virus has acquired.
Department of Health and Social Care in the UK in a statement on Monday asked its citizens to immediately self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia. Anosmia in the field of medicine is the loss of or changes in a person’s sense of smell and according to the department of health, it can also affect one’s sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
Loss of a sense of smell or taste is said to have emerged as a potential Covid-19 symptom in March when doctors in the United States called for it to be added to the list of screening tools for Covid-19. This decision was backed up by a professional organization representing UK ear, nose and throat surgeons, who in a statement on its website noted that anosmia could be another symptom of infection with the virus.
Medical officers had been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on Covid-19 and which linked the two. While this comes as relevant information that will help doctors beat the virus, some medics have criticised their government for being too slow in listing such symptoms causing an additional over 70,000 cases to go undiagnosed due to the lack of recognition of other symptoms such as anosmia.