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Are You Experiencing a Loss of Taste and Smell? You May Need to Get Tested for COVID-19

While loss of taste and smell aren’t the most widely known symptoms of COVID-19, they may be the earliest signs. Studies show that the majority of those who test positive for the novel coronavirus also experience diminished or lost sense of smell and taste.

Just because you detect a change in your palate or ability to enjoy the aroma of your favorite meal doesn’t mean you have COVID-19, but it does mean that you should talk to your doctor and find out if they recommend you get tested. 

And if your altered senses are accompanied by any of the other classic COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath, chances are high that a test is in order. 

If you live in or around Atlanta, Georgia, you have an easy and convenient place to get tested and get some peace of mind. offers drive-through testing, no appointments needed. Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm. Saturday and Sunday,9am-5pm. Find us at Sandy Springs Circle.

A word about viruses and your senses

Anyone who’s had a common cold knows that blocked nasal passages make it tough to breathe, let alone smell things. That’s because the nerve that allows you to smell is way at the top of your nasal cavity, and the scents simply can’t break through the mucus to reach it.

If the virus stays active for long, it causes inflammation that eventually damages your olfactory nerves and leads to permanent loss of smell.

About 80% of all those who test positive for COVID-19 experience some degree of deterioration in their ability to taste and smell, and it almost always occurs very early, even before the other more severe symptoms. For this reason, it serves as an unofficial screening for the virus.

What loss of smell and taste may indicate about your case of COVID-19

If you’ve lost your sense of taste or smell, got tested, and turn up positive for COVID-19, be encouraged. Studies show that those with COVID-19 who have trouble smelling and tasting are less likely to end up in the hospital and on a ventilator. 

How is COVID-19 different from the flu?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu and COVID-19 share almost all their symptoms, making it hard to know which you have until you get tested. However, one symptom that stands alone in the COVID-19 column is the loss of taste and smell. 

Although this phenomenon can occur with any virus, it’s only common with COVID-19, and again, if it’s one of your symptoms, it’s a good sign of a probable mild case.

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