NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While loss of taste and smell has been a known symptom of Covid-19 for a few weeks, new research indicates the importance of recognizing this symptom early.

Dr. James Hildreth president of Meharry Medical College explained that a study out of England, “They developed an app and gave it to 1.5 million people and they were supposed to record their symptoms in this app.”

When researchers analyzed the data, they found some interesting results.

“It turned out that loss of the sense of smell and taste, those individuals [who experienced that] were 3 times more likely to come down with Covid-19,” said Hildreth.

Research, by the University of California, San Diego, published in International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology this week, validates England’s findings.

It reads in part: “Based on our study, if you have smell and taste loss, you are more than 10 times more likely to have Covid-19 infection than other causes of infection.”

While fever and fatigue remain the common first signs, loss of taste and smell aren’t far behind.

‘I want people to be aware that this is another very important symptom that if they have this they should immediately contact the Covid-19 hotline,” said Dr. Hildreth.