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The One Sure Sign You've Caught COVID, Says Surgeon General
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The One Sure Sign You've Caught COVID, Says Surgeon General

With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations hitting record numbers, you may be wondering if every cough or sniffle is COVID-19 or the flu. Both are highly contagious, so you should contact a medical professional immediately if you think you have either, but one symptom is unique to coronavirus, according to the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force. Read on to hear his full warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.Anosmia and Ageusia are Common Signs of COVID-19, Says Surgeon General"The one symptom that I would alert people to that really differentiates flu from COVID is loss of taste or smell," Adams said

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With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations hitting record numbers, you may be wondering if every cough or sniffle is COVID-19 or the flu. Both are highly contagious, so you should contact a medical professional immediately if you think you have either, but one symptom is unique to coronavirus, according to the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force. Read on to hear his full warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

"The one symptom that I would alert people to that really differentiates flu from COVID is loss of taste or smell," Adams said on NPR's All Things Considered. "If you get that symptom, then you need to be reaching out to your health provider right away and going in and getting a COVID test."

The medical terms are anosmia—the loss of smell—and dysgeusia—an altered sense of taste.

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"A change in—or loss of—someone's sense of smell or taste are now recognized as core symptoms of coronavirus," the BBC says.

It can last for a few days—or longer. Says the BBC, an "international team of researchers surveyed 187 Italians who had the virus but who were not ill enough to be admitted to hospital. The individuals were asked to rate their sense of smell or taste soon after they were diagnosed and again a month later. A total of 113 reported an alteration in their sense of smell and/or taste:

55 said they had recovered fully

46 reported improvements in their symptoms

12 found their symptoms were unchanged or worse."