Health Ministry Adds Loss Of Smell, Taste To List Of COVID-19 Symptoms

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New Delhi: Leading health bodies across the world, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, had already included loss of smell and taste among COVID-19 symptoms. Now, India has followed suit.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday issued a revised clinical management protocol for treating novel coronavirus. “As per data from Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)/Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) portal case investigation forms for COVID- 19 (n=15,366), the details on the signs and symptoms reported are (as on June 11, 2020), fever (27%), cough (21%), sore throat (10%), breathlessness (8%), Weakness (7%), running nose (3%) and others 24%,” it said.

In further revision, the Health ministry has included use of remdesivir and off-label use of tocilizumab and convalescent plasma therapy on very specific groups of patients.

Remdesivir is a drug which had been developed for Ebola, while tocilizumab is used in autoimmune disorders.

Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) is the process of transfusion of blood plasma of a recovered patient into another patient. While plasma therapy has been used for other diseases, its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 is under investigation.

The ministry said hydroxychloroquine will continue to be in use but the antibiotic azithromycin is no longer a part of the COVID-19 treatment protocol.

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