A new research has revealed how smell loss associated with COVID-19 infection differs from what you typically might experience with a bad cold or flu.
The research from a European group of smell disorder experts, including Professor Philpott, was conducted at the University of East Anglia.
The study published in the journal Rhinology is the first to compare how people with COVID-19 smell and taste disorders differ from those with other causes of upper respiratory tract infections.
The main differences found are that, although COVID-19 patients also lose their sense of smell, they can breathe freely, do not tend to have a runny or blocked nose, and they cannot detect bitter or sweet tastes.
These findings lend weight to the theory that COVID-19 infects the brain and central nervous system.
The research team hope that their work could help develop smell and taste tests for fast COVID-19 screening - in primary care and emergency departments.
The research team carried out smell and taste tests on 10 COVID-19 patients, 10 people with bad colds and a control group of 10 healthy people - all matched for age and sex.