Loss of Smell, Taste Added as New Symptoms for COVID: Health Min

The health ministry added new symptoms like the “loss of smell and taste” in their criteria for testing COVID-19.

Published13 Jun 2020, 11:34 AM IST
2 min read

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released an updated set of clinical management protocols on their website on Saturday, 13 June.

In this, they added new symptoms like the “loss of smell and taste” in their criteria for testing COVID-19.

The symptoms for COVID-19 now include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Expectoration
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Rhinorrhea, sore throat, diarrhea
  • Loss of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia) preceding the onset of respiratory symptoms has also been reported

The report added that 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.

Close Contact Transmission & Updates on a Cure

The new guidelines also add 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.”

As for a permanent cure, the government said that no vaccine has been developed, although they are looking into some “investigative therapies.”

The document reads, “Use of these therapies is based on limited available evidence. As the situation evolves, and when more data become available, the evidence will be accordingly incorporated, and recommendation upgraded. Further, use of these drugs is subjected to limited availability in the country as of now. Currently, these drugs should only be used in a defined subgroup of patients:

  • Remdesive
  • Convalescent plasma
  • Tocilizumab (Off Label) m
  • Hydroxychloroquine

Each of the above drugs is to be taken only when prescribed by a healthcare worker and under a specific set of conditions as outlined in the document.

Today, India saw 11,458 fresh cases, the highest spike in cases in 24 hours.

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