Experts have stressed that fever and cough remain the most important symptoms of the virus to look out for and act upon
According to UK researchers, loss of smell or taste may be a sign of coronavirus infection.
A team of researchers at King's College London looked at responses from more than 400,000 people reporting suspected Covid-19 symptoms to an app, reports the BBC.
However, a loss of smell and taste are also signs of other respiratory infections, which includes the common cold also.
Experts have stressed that fever and cough remain the most important symptoms of the virus to look out for and act upon.
The researchers at King's College wanted to gather information on possible coronavirus symptoms to help experts better understand and fight the disease.
Of those reporting one or more symptoms of coronavirus to the Covid Symptom Tracker app, 53 percent said they had fatigue or tiredness, 29 percent reported having persistent cough. 28 percent reported shortness of breath, 18 percent loss of sense of smell or taste and 10.5 percent suffered from fever. Of these 400,000 people, 1,702 said they had been tested for Covid-19, with 579 receiving a positive result and 1,123 a negative one.
Among the ones who had coronavirus infection confirmed by a positive test, three-fifths (59 percent) reported loss of smell or taste.
Experts say there is not enough evidence yet that loss of smell and taste can be deemed key symptoms to watch out for; World Health Organization have not added them to the list. ENT UK, the body that represents Ear, Nose and Throat doctors, says it is not surprising that some patients with coronavirus might report these as symptoms, but they are not specific to Covid-19. They advocate including them as possible coronavirus symptoms.
Researchers from King's College said loss of smell and taste might be useful extra symptoms to watch for, perhaps not on their own but alongside other important ones like cough and fever.
Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said: "When combined with other symptoms, people with loss of smell and taste appear to be three 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."