DeKalb, IL — Following months of being tested for a fever at restaurants, doctors’ offices, gyms and more, some health experts are now reporting that the earliest symptom of coronavirus seen in patients is a loss of smell, not a fever.
A new analysis from the Philadelphia Monell Chemical Senses Center shows 77% of coronavirus patients reported a loss of smell when they were tested, and some who contracted the virus never developed a fever.
"It is one of the earliest symptoms, and it is certainly earlier than fever," said Nancy Rawson, a biologist and associate director of the center, according to Yahoo. "Smell loss alone predicts diagnosis better than a fever."
A July CDC survey found that a loss of smell can last eight days on average, but some people experience it for weeks. The symptom can also discourage patients from eating which could possibly cause malnutrition.
The center in Philadelphia is working on a scent test that could be used for early COVID-19 detection.
To test yourself at home, try using fragrant items such as coffee, perfume, toothpaste, basil or rosemary, Rawson said.