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Loss of Smell, a warning sign of COVID-19


Observing your symptoms is an important thing to do during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially people who have traveled to risky places or lived with people who are at risk of having COVID-19. One of the warning signs of COVID-19 is the loss of smell. Even though, this symptom is a warning sign of many diseases, it should not be overlooked, especially during this virus crisis. 

Dr. Nattapol Thammasitboon, Vejthani Hospital’s Otolaryngologist explained that anosmia or loss of smell is caused by the inflammation of the olfactory nerve in the nasal cavity and the swelling of the tissue around the nasal cavity which are the causes of many diseases such as colds, nerve inflammation, sinusitis, and rhinitis.

Currently, there is no confirmation that anosmia is one of the COVID-19 symptoms. However, there are some reports starting that some of COVID-19 infected patients lose their smelling abilities. Hence, if you have lost your smelling ability, along with other symptoms which are cough, sore throat, and you have traveled to risky places or lived with people who are at risk of COVID-19; you should undergo the SWAB testing to collect a sample from your posterior nasopharynx to find the COVID-19.

A sample will be collected from the posterior nasopharynx because it is the source of infectious particles that get into the body. Therefore, the chance of finding the virus in this area is much higher than in other areas in the body.

 “There are a lot of secretion in our nasal cavity, and it is slowly produced in the posterior nasopharynx. Viruses will be in the secretions, thus collecting a sample from the posterior nasopharynx is an effective method. Collecting a sample from posterior nasopharynx must be performed by the medical staff because it is a deep area.” said Dr.Nattapol.

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