Q. I lost my sense of smell after cold recovery with foreign travel history. Is this a symptom of Covid-19?

Answered by
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 25, 2020

Hello doctor,

On March 1st I flew to Utah from Texas and developed cold symptoms after three days. It was a normal cold, but as it was almost gone (no more congestion, did not feel sick anymore), I lost the sense of taste and smell overnight. I have not had a sense of taste or smell for 11 days now. I do have a history of losing my sense of taste and smell for a few days during cold with congestion and for four weeks when I had mono.

I did speak with a general doctor and he seems to think my loss of taste and smell is cold or allergy-related so he does not think I have Coronavirus. However, this loss of sense of smell is different than all the rest. I have never been without smell for this long after a normal cold and I have had a fairly clear nose for the entire duration of it so it cannot be due to congestion. I just wanted to get a second opinion on if you think it could be Coronavirus as news has just come out that this is a possible symptom of asymptomatic Coronavirus carriers.

I am currently on Amoxicillin for sinus infection.

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I appreciate your timely picking up of the signs and reaching out to us. We have two scenarios.

First, is that you have Coronavirus infection and the cold, allergy, and loss of smell are due to it unless you develop more severe symptoms like fever, temperature, breathing difficulty, respiratory distress, you do not go anywhere out of home. You are gonna remain quarantined till 15 days from now. Take plenty of fluids and water. Eat good and normal diet. Exercise indoors if you can.

Second, it is allergy-related. In this case, it should subside in some time. You can try some nasal steroids and other measures told above. In the first scenario also nasal steroids can be tried.

You can revert back to us if you need any further support.

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