Health Ministry adds loss of smell, taste to COVID-19 symptoms list

According to the health ministry loss of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia) have been reported preceding the onset of respiratory symptoms.

Representational image (Graphics: Bishworjit Mandengbam-IFP)

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday revised the lists of novel coronavirus symptoms and included two more symptoms - loss of smell and taste, to the previous seven symptoms.

According to the "Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19" issued by the Union Health Ministry, loss of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia) have been reported preceding the onset of respiratory symptoms.

The other seven symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, expectoration, myalgia and rhinorrhea, sore throat and diarrhoea.

The revised clinical management protocol said that direct person-to-person transmission occurs through close contact, mainly through respiratory droplets that are released when the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets may also land on surfaces, where the virus remains viable. Infection can also occur if a person touches an infected surface and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth, it added.

According to the ministry's document, older people and immune-suppressed patients, in particular, may present with atypical symptoms such as fatigue, reduced alertness, reduced mobility, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, delirium, and absence of fever.

"Children might not have reported fever or cough as frequently as adults. As per data from Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)/ Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal case investigation forms for Covid-19, the details on the signs and symptoms reported are fever (27 per cent), cough (21 per cent), sore throat (10 per cent), breathlessness (8 per cent), weakness (7 per cent), running nose (3 per cent) and others 24 per cent," the ministry stated in its document.

Meanwhile, India has surpassed the UK in COVID-19 cases with 3,08,993 positive cases, including 1,45,779 active cases and 1,54,330 recovered cases, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry said on Saturday. Maharashtra with 1,01,141 positive cases is the worst affected state in India followed by Tamil Nadu with 40,698 cases and Delhi with 36,824 cases.

First Published:June 13, 2020, 6:02 p.m.

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