In May, the UK government added the two symptoms to its official list, weeks after experts warned that cases were being missed.
According to the NHS, people may regain their lost or changed sense of smell after a few weeks or months. But a growing number of people unable to regain their sense of smell are turning to “smell therapy”.
“At the moment, we are probably three times the membership that we were before COVID-19 hit,” AbScent founder Chrissi Kelly told Business Insider.
A charity that helps people with loss of smell says it has seen increasing demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the onset of the pandemic in March, high temperature and a new, continuous cough were considered the two main symptoms associated with the novel disease.
However, health authorities around the world updated their official guidance following increasing reports that patients had lost their sense of smell – a condition known as Anosmia – due to the illness.
Some coronavirus patients displayed no other symptoms other than a changed or lost sense of taste or taste.
AbScent is a UK-based charity that helps people who have lost their sense of smell.
While not a cure, smell therapy has been described as a type of physiotherapy for the nose. Recovering patients are required to sniff essential oils to stimulate the nerves in the nose.
The treatment includes essential oils such as rose, lemon, clove and eucalyptus.
“I first noticed the interest in March when people suddenly started contacting me on social media, first from Iran, then Italy, and then Spain,” Ms Kelly added.
“Now we have over 7,000 members in our [Facebook] groups.”
The NHS recommends smells training as a form of treatment that might be able to help people regain their sense of smell.
Steroid nasal sprays or drops might also help. Rinsing the inside of your nose with a salt water solution may help if your sense of smell is affected by an infection or allergy, according to the NHS.
If you experience a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you can also contact 111 for further advice.