The latest analysis of data from the COVID Symptom Tracker app suggests losing your sense of taste and smell may be the best way to tell whether you have COVID-19.
26% of the 1.5 million app users between 24-29 March 2020 reported one or more symptoms through the app. Of these, 1,702 reported having been tested for COVID-19, with 579 positive results and 1,123 negative results.
The data analysed from the app shows that 59% of COVID-19 positive patients reported loss of smell and taste, compared with only 18% of those who tested negative for the disease. These results were much stronger in predicting a positive COVID-19 diagnosis than self-reported fever.
Using all the data collected, the King’s research team behind the app, alongside ZOE data scientists, developed a model to identify which combination of symptoms together could predict COVID-19 cases.
Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said: “When combined with other symptoms, people with loss of smell and taste appear to be 3 times more likely to have contracted COVID-19 according to our data, and should therefore self-isolate for seven days to reduce the spread of the disease.
Corona virus pandemic new symptoms:
- Loss of Smell / Taste