Of all the nose-to-toes symptoms of Covid-19, the loss of the sense of smell — also known as anosmia — could work particularly well as an add-on to temperature checks, significantly increasing the proportion of infected people identified by screening in airports, workplaces, and other public places.
“My impression is that anosmia is an earlier symptom of Covid-19 relative to fever, and some infected people can have anosmia and nothing else,” said physician Andrew Badley, who heads a virus lab at the Mayo Clinic. “So it’s potentially a more sensitive screen for asymptomatic patients.”
In a recent study, Badley and colleagues found that Covid-19 patients were 27 times more likely than others to have lost their sense of smell. But they were only 2.6 times more likely to have fever or chills, suggesting that anosmia produces a clearer signal and may therefore be a better Covid-catching net than fever.
-------------------------------- We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb
Posts: 37158 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010
A while back I remember seeing a checkpoint in some country, maybe South Korea, where people were asked to sniff one or two of five different bottles and say what the smell was. Among the bottles were things like cider vinegar, vanillin, lavender, garlic, and rose. Anyone who couldn't name the odor was given a swab test.
I usually have a cup of double-bergamot Earl Grey tea every morning. I use that as my daily "how am I smellin'?" check.