Loss of taste/smell to be added as a symptom of Covid-19 in Republic of Ireland
The sudden loss of smell and sudden loss of taste are expected to be added to the case definition for Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, it was confirmed this evening.
There has been increasing anecdotal evidence worldwide that people presenting with the virus have had anosmia (sudden loss of smell) or ageusia (loss of taste), and the United Kingdom added it to their case definition at the beginning of last week.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, explained "Today, NPHET agreed in principle to include in the case definition the sudden loss of smell (anosmia) and loss of taste (ageusia). This is subject to updated guidance from the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Control), which is expected to be published tomorrow".
At the moment, anyone in the Republic of Ireland who experiences a symptom of Covid-19; a fever, a cough or shortness of breath, can be tested for the virus. Testing also began this week for close contacts of confirmed cases.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said "we are anticipating that the ECDC is going to make this advice available tomorrow... this has been reported now as a clear feature of this disease, we're satisfied that that's the case and it can occur as a symptom on its own without some of the other symptoms."
A loss of smell and taste has been reported as a 'clear feature' of Covid-19 and can present without any other symptoms, says Dr Tony Holohan. | Live updates: https://t.co/89ForGiv0O pic.twitter.com/qmLk0xOQas
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At this evening's briefing, there were nine further deaths related to Covid-19 reported, while 46 more cases of the virus were also confirmed.