Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

There’s a new symptom of coronavirus, doctors say: Sudden loss of smell or taste

A loss of a sense of smell or taste may be a symptom of COVID-19, medical groups representing ear, nose and throat specialists have warned.

Citing a growing number of cases around the globe, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and ENT UK each issued warnings about patients who tested positive for the new coronavirus with the only symptom being a lost or altered sense of smell or taste.

“Anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating from sites around the world that anosmia and dysgeusia are significant symptoms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery wrote in a statement.

Anosmia is the loss of smell while dysgeusia is an altered sense of taste.

South Korea, China and Italy have all reported “significant numbers” of known COVID-19 patients with lost or reduced sense of smell, according to joint statement by Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, and Nirmal Kumar, president of ENT UK. Read more…

Homeland Security warns terrorists may exploit COVID-19 pandemic

A Department of Homeland Security memo sent to law enforcement officials around the country warns that violent extremists could seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by carrying out attacks against the U.S.

“Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months,” according to the intelligence bulletin, compiled by the agency’s Counter-terrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.

At this time, DHS said it has “no information indicating any active plotting is underway,” but that it has observed certain extremist groups, both foreign and domestic, looking to spread misinformation about the coronavirus.

The memo, which was circulated on Monday, comes after assurances from FBI Director Chris Wray in a video message that agents would be even more vigilant in monitoring threats to the U.S. as the virus spreads. Read more..

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