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This is the #1 Sign You Have COVID, Says Study

If you have suffered from this, you probably had coronavirus. 

There are many symptoms we have come to identify as potential indicators of a COVID-19 infection, including fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. However, according to a new study, there is one standout sign that an individual is in fact, COVID positive: loss of sense of taste and smell. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Most Patients Experienced a New Loss of Smell or Taste

In the study, published in the medical journal PLoS Medicine, British researchers analyzed a data pool of 590 volunteers, all who experienced a new loss of smell or taste. Then, they tested 567 of them for coronavirus. A whopping 77.6% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Nearly 40% of those with antibodies never had a fever or a cough — two of the more hyped COVID symptoms. 

Those who experienced a loss of smell alone were nearly three times more likely than those who only had loss of taste to have the antibodies, while those with both loss of smell and taste were four times more likely to have antibodies.

"Early self-recognition of COVID-19 symptoms by the members of the public, together with rapid self-isolation and PCR testing are vital in order to limit spread of the disease. Currently, most countries around the world do not recognize sudden loss of smell as a symptom of COVID-19,"  Rachel Batterham of University College London and University College London Hospitals, who helped lead the study team, said in an accompanying press release

"78% of participants in our community-based study with sudden onset loss of smell or taste had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The vast majority had mild symptoms and 40% did not report having a fever or cough," she continued. "Our findings suggest that people who notice a loss in their ability to smell every day house-hold odors such as garlic, coffee and perfumes should self-isolate and seek PCR testing. Loss of sense of smell needs to be recognized globally by policy makers as a key symptom of COVID-19."

RELATED: I'm an Infectious Disease Doctor and Would Never Touch This 

What to Do if You Feel This Way

If you do experience a combination of loss of sense of smell and sense of taste, researchers encourage that you isolate yourself immediately and contact a medical professional. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah