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Covid-19: Loss of smell can be symptom

Loss of smell has been identified as a symptom of Covid-19.

Some coronavirus victims – but not all - have seen their sense of smell disappear, without having a blocked nose. This is known as “anosmia”.

President of the professional national council of ENTs, which gathers doctors and ear, nose, and throat specialists, Jean-Michel Klein, said: “Not all Covid-positive people are anosmic, but all anosmic people isolated without a local cause for this, without inflammation, are Covid-positive.”

If you suffer from “anosmia”, you are advised to call your doctor and not to self-medicate, said the head of the French health service Jérôme Salomon.

The symptom can also sometimes be associated with a loss of the sense of taste.

These symptoms are more visible on “young people” and are “mild forms of infection.”

Mr Salomon added: “We think, even if it's still preliminary, that it's related to the virus.”

An online test ( is now available for anyone who believes they may be infected and is referenced by the Health Minister.

It evaluates your state of health, through 24 questions. It has been developed in collaboration with specialist doctors and France’s acclaimed Pasteur Institute. It is updated with the latest scientific knowledge available on the virus.

According to your answers, you can be advised to contact a doctor, to call the Samu (15) or rest at home. The test aims to reduce the number of calls made to the Samu. 

It is only available in French.

An equivalent in English has been put online by the NHS, here. It has less questions but advises you on what to do if you show symptoms of the virus.

Note that it is aimed at UK residents so advises people to call 111 however this emergency number is not the correct one in France – for France it is 15.

Previous articles:

Covid-19: France declares state of health emergency

Official updates on Covid-19 in France

800 patients in France in Covid-19 drug trial

Charity to help isolated English-speakers

Covid-19: 'Ibuprofen can worsen infection'

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