Prince Charles – future king of England – is not an anomaly.
Back in March, the 71-year-old Royal was one of the first high-profile cases of the coronavirus, and with it, he claimed something peculiar.
He had lost his sense of smell and taste.
Turns out, he’s not alone.
About half the people who contract the coronavirus will experience a loss of smell and taste, according to a study released on Friday.
In many cases, patients can experience a total loss of the two senses.
The Italian-led survey of people diagnosed with the coronavirus revealed 116 patients (56.9 per cent) had a reduction of smell and/or taste, with more than one in three experiencing a severe decline.
Women are slightly more susceptible to the condition than men, while it is also more likely to afflict those who are older.
There was no correlation between smokers and the loss of senses.
The study has led researchers to hypothesise that “reduction of taste and/or smell may be a frequent and early symptom of COVID-19”.
“The general practitioner may play a pivotal role in identifying potential COVID-19 in patients at an early stage if taste and/or smell alterations manifest and in suggesting quarantine before confirmation or exclusion of the diagnosis,” the study reported.
Despite successfully overcoming his mild case of the coronavirus, Prince Charles says his sense of taste and smell have not fully returned.
“I was lucky in my case … but I’ve had it, and I can so understand what other people have gone through,” he told British media at the time.
Prince Charles, along with son Prince William, made their first public appearances since the start of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown in March, visiting frontline healthcare workers earlier this week.
Some of the royals have been seen in photos and videos released during lockdown, but none have taken part in any engagements outside their homes.
Charles and Camilla visited the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and met about 20 staff, ranging from clinicians to volunteers and social workers.
The central England hospital has treated about 650 COVID-19 patients, of whom 162 have died.