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The One Sure Sign You Have COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

There is one symptom that has come to define the virus.

There is no denying that the United States is currently battling the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic this winter, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths breaking records on a daily basis. To make the situation worse, we are also in the midst of cold and flu season, and as most of us are well aware, many of the symptoms of coronavirus are strikingly similar to the seasonal illness. However, there is one COVID symptom that is unlike most other ailments — and if you start to experience it, you are very likely to be COVID positive, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Said "Loss of Smell and Taste" are a Sign of COVID

During a discussion on Thursday sponsored by Columbia University on Thursday, Dr. Fauci explained that the "clinical manifestations" of the virus, aka the "presenting signs and symptoms" are "strikingly similar to what we have been calling a flu-like syndrome. They include those outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common being fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and one other that is uncommon with other ailments. 

"Of particular interest is the rather frequent occurrence of loss of smell and taste, which precedes the onset of respiratory symptoms," he revealed. 

According to Scientific American, an estimated 80 percent of people with COVID-19 have smell disturbances, which can include dysgeusia or ageusia (a disruption or loss of taste, respectively) or changes in chemesthesis (the ability to sense chemical irritants such as hot chilies). "Smell loss is so common in people with the disease that some researchers have recommended its use as a diagnostic test because it may be a more reliable marker than fever or other symptoms," they report. And, while most people regain their senses within weeks, others still struggle to taste or smell for months after recovering from their initial infection. 

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors

What to Do if You Suddenly Lose These Senses

If you suddenly realize that you cannot smell or taste, you should call your healthcare provider immediately and consider getting tested for COVID-19. Not only will you be taking proactive measures for your own health, but also ensuring that you aren't potentially spreading the virus to others. 

Also, follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.