The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature and a new continuous cough.

However, recent reports have indicated that a loss of taste and smell could also be a lesser-known symptom of the virus.

19-year-old Melissa Brandwood from Bolton, key worker at Fresh Meat Packs North West.,  has experienced these symptoms.

“I left work on Wednesday and started to self isolate because I developed a temperature and felt lethargic. I assumed it was a common cold.” Brandwood explained.

NHS and WHO advice on how to tell the difference between a common cold and COVID-19

“I assumed it was a common cold.”
Melissa Brandwood

It wasn’t until Friday evening that Brandwood realised she had lost all sense of taste and smell.

“It sounds silly but I cried and got panicked. Honestly, I thought I was going to die.” added Brandwood.

“honestly, I thought i was going to die.”
Melissa Brandwood

Brandwood has been self-isolating with her boyfriend in Kirkby Lonsdale to prevent spreading the virus to her family.

“My boyfriend was stuck in Spain for due to the cancellation of flights and was told to self-isolate. He hasn’t had any of the symptoms I have so I don’t know how I would’ve got it.”

Melissa Brandwood, 19-year-old Keyworker

Many studies have found a correlation between COVID-19 and loss of sense of smell and taste.

Natalie Brookes, a consultant ENT surgeon and rhinologist and medical director at The Harley Street ENT Clinic, reported that healthy, young people in their 20’s are experiencing sudden loss of smell, making it ‘highly suggestive’ that it could be associated with COVID-19.

There is not yet enough evidence to make these ‘key symptoms’ but studies have shown the ‘people with loss of smell and taste appear to be three times more likely to have contracted COVID-19.’