According to reports, mild South Korean cases saw 30 percent of patients losing their ability to smell and taste and in Germany more than 2 in 3 patients also experienced this.
A simple method to determine if your sense of smell has been impaired is the "The Jellybean Test."
Steven Munger, director of the Center for Smell and Taste at the University of Florida tells CNN, "You take a jellybean in one hand, and with the other hand you hold your nose tightly so you're not getting any airflow...You put the jellybean in your mouth and chew it. Let's say it's a fruit flavor jellybean: if you get the savory plus the sweetness of the jellybean you'll know you have functional taste." Adding, "So if you can go from sweet and sour to the full flavor and know what the flavor is then your sense of smell is probably in pretty good shape."
If you do not have any jellybeans, ENT specialist Dr. Erich Voigt says coffee or a citrus fruit can be used to check for anosmia.
"The pure smell sense would be if you can smell a particular substance that's not stimulating other nerves," he told CNN. "So some examples of that would be if you can smell ground coffee or coffee brewing, or if you can smell someone peeling an orange. That's the smell sense."
He warns that someone should not test their sense of smell with things like ammonia or cleaning solutions, explaining, "Those stimulate the trigeminal nerve, which is an irritant nerve... people will think, 'Oh, I can smell Clorox, I can smell ammonia, which means I can smell.' But no, that's not correct. They're not actually smelling, they're using the trigeminal nerve."
The Doctors note that a loss of smell and taste does not only indicate someone might have coronavirus, as it can easily be linked to a cold or the flu, as well as nasal polyps, tumors, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, or a brain or head injury. Additionally, a lack of taste can be linked to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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