Q. My grandmother lost her smell sensation, but she tested negative for COVID twice. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Nagaraj Patil
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 20, 2021 and last reviewed on: Aug 14, 2021

Hello doctor,

My grandmother (86years) lost her smell sensation last Saturday. She had a fever, cold, cough, and headache. So we isolated her and tested for COVID-19. But the report was negative. We tested two times, and the result is negative both times. But for the last two days, my husband and I lost our smell sensation. He had a sneezy nose sometimes, and I had a headache and mild throat itching. I had a headache for the last three days. Should we get isolated? Are there any chances for COVID? But my grandmother tested negative two times.



Welcome to

I understand your concerns. In the current situation of the pandemic, your grandmother could be infected with the coronavirus. She might have tested negative. The reason behind this is, if the virus has reached the lungs, RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase-polymerize chain reaction) from nasal swabs may show negative results. But she could be infected as she had typical symptoms. Good that you isolated her. But keep a close watch on her symptoms like difficulty in breathing and her oxygen saturation.

It looks like you and your husband also had some symptoms of coronavirus. Please get yourself tested for COVID and isolate yourself in different rooms. You both have high chances of contracting the coronavirus. Having said this, please do not get panic. Get the test done and isolate yourself. Keep watch on your symptoms. If you have a continuous fever, difficulty breathing, saturation is less than 94% in a pulse oximeter, immediately seek medical attention. Note that 95% of people infected with the coronavirus will have minor symptoms with no consequences and recover. So do not get anxious and do not get panic. Seek medical help in the situation, as I said. I hope you all get well soon. Take Care.

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