A small study reported by researchers in Beijing and the United States found that 50% of patients treated for COVID-19 infection still carried the virus for up to eight days after their symptoms had disappeared. That includes what the symptoms are and how varied they might be.
Suzanne Hoylaerts from Binkom, near Lubbeek, was hospitalised on March 20 when her condition rapidly deteriorated after contracting COVID-19.
But sometimes even when other symptoms disappear, your sense of smell doesn't return - or in some cases it's reduced (hyposmia), or is distorted (parosmia).
While the virus does not affect the taste buds on the tongue, because the sense of smell is so psychologically linked to taste, people will feel as if they have also lost their ability to taste.
We have all heard about some of the more common symptoms of coronavirus - a persistent, dry cough and a high temperature.
A study which involved more than 500 Britons who tested positive for the virus found that nearly 60 per cent had lost those senses, compared with just 32 per cent who reported suffering from a fever. Two patients had diabetes and one had tuberculosis, neither of which affected the timing of the course of COVID-19 infection. "Most importantly, half (8/16) of the patients remained viral positive (a surrogate marker of shedding) even after the resolution of symptoms", the investigators wrote.
Some were infectious for up to eight days after their symptoms, including fevers and coughs, had alleviated. Her story received more than 2,000 likes and shares in the private Facebook group "Corona Virus COVID-19 Australia", 9Honey in Australia reported.
Smell loss as a first warning sign could be important in further preventing the spread.
Severe confusion or an inability to wake up or be alert can be a warning sign, according to the CDC, and people who experience those symptoms, especially with other critical signs like bluish lips, trouble breathing, or chest pain, should seek help immediately. However, the results indicate that quarantine periods might need to be lengthened in some recovered patients. It's not clear how prevalent these symptoms might be but about 11% of people studied reported chills, and 14% reported muscle aches, according to the World Health Organization report.
In addition, the American Heart Association said elderly persons with heart disease or hypertension were more likely to be infected and to develop more severe symptoms and complications.
The small European Union country, with a population of 11.4 million, now has 12,775 cases of persons tested positive for COVID-19, of whom 4,920 have been hospitalised, including 1,021 in intensive care.