Young people who have recently started experiencing a lack of smell and taste are warned that it may be a symptom of coronavirus.
Health experts ask young people to be aware of the “hidden” symptom after some have experienced a lack of smell and taste – known as anosmia – despite not having the usual signs of cough or fever.
It is now believed to be a symptom of Covid-19’s “hidden carriers”.
All have been warned to look for dry cough or fever as the first signs of the virus, but these other symptoms are said to primarily affect young people.
Professor Nirmal Kumar, head of ENT UK, invited people to self-isolate if they present this symptom.
He told Sky News: “In young patients, they don’t have significant symptoms like cough and fever, but they can only have a loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are settling in the nose.”
In a statement, ENT UK said: “There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that a significant number of patients with proven covid-19 infection have developed anosmia / hyposmia (loss of smell).
“There has been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms – this has been widely shared in medical discussion forums by surgeons from all regions managing a high incidence of cases. “
About a third of patients who have tested positive in South Korea, China and Italy have reported having a loss of smell.
So far, 1,228 people in the UK have died from coronavirus, according to the latest data.
Of the 260 dead on Friday, 13 had no health problems at the base, NHS England said.
Those who died who did not have pre-existing conditions were between 63 and 99 years old, the organization added in a statement.