Researchers based in the UK have written in their study that people who lose their smell or taste should think about self-isolation, even if they have no other symptoms.
The team studied 590 volunteers who experienced a new loss of smell or taste, and tested 567 of them on Covid-19.
About 40% of those who tested positive for antibodies had no fever or cough.
Butterham and colleagues also found that participants with odor loss were only three times more likely than patients with simple taste loss to have Covid-19 antibodies, and participants with combined odor and taste loss were four times more likely to have antibodies.
“These findings suggest that olfactory loss is a very specific symptom of Covid-19, in contrast to taste loss, despite their relative frequency,” the researchers wrote in the study.
The study recruited volunteers between April 23 and May 14, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in London. The findings have some limitations, including that the study does not include a group comparing people who have not lost their sense of smell and / or taste.
The government statement then stated that “all people should isolate themselves if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia.”