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What is Anosmia?
Anosmia literally means that a person has no sense of smell altogether. It can be a temporary or permanent condition depending on the circumstances. By contrast, hyperosmia refers to an increased ability to smell, a skill very useful for appreciating wine.
This smell-blindness is something I noticed last week when I was still not showing the symptoms such as dry cough or nausea. I was drinking my wine after dinner and had ceased to detect any aromas or even taste of the wine. At the time I put the lack of sensory awareness down to exhaustion and went to bed.
It was the next day in the afternoon that the coughing really started and the rest of the symptoms developed.
If your sense of smell disappears then so should you
In his regular video blog on Youtube, Dr John Campbell interprets new reports and research on the C-19 virus that are being published from within the medical and scientific community. In the video below he points out that if a person realises that their sense of smell has completely gone then it is highly likely that they are experiencing the early signs of infection and should self-isolate to avoid spreading.
Given that the UK government has issued a lockdown for three weeks, most of us are already doing this. However, for those that may feel fine and decide to flout the rules and spend time in close proximity to others, if they are smell-blind, they are likely also capable of spreading the virus.
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Although Dr Campbell does not state whether the anosmia condition is permanent or not, I have been without my smell for six nights now, although the other main symptoms of my illness (not tested as C-19) have receded. It seems from reading Wikipedia that in most cases, when anosmia occurs from infection, the smell does eventually return.
This also seemed to be the case when reading Alistair Cooper MW’s tweets about his experience of being ill over the last week. Although untested, due to the fact that it is near impossible to be tested in the UK at the current time, Cooper noticed his sense of smell disappear and has also reported that it is reappearing. Given the nature of an MW’s career, this is obviously merciful news!