Prince Charles has revealed he is still suffering from a loss of smell and taste, after he was struck down by coronavirus back in March. The royal shared the update as he undertook his first face-to-face engagement today, visiting NHS workers at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital along with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
71-year-old Charles tested positive for the highly contagious disease three months ago, becoming the first member of the British royal family to be struck down by it, but following a period of self-isolation he quickly recovered.
What we didn't know up until now, however, is how the virus had affected him. Speaking to Jeff Mills, a healthcare assistant from Cheltenham General Hospital, about his experience with COVID-19, the future King mentioned some of his specific symptoms.
"He did speak of his personal experience, so first-hand experience for him. He also spoke about his loss of smell and taste, and sort of still felt he's still got it now," Jeff Mills said.
Last month, the UK officially listed loss of smell and taste as two key coronavirus symptoms. As well as having a persistent cough and/or a fever, government advice now suggests losing your sense of smell and taste can be an indicator that you've contracted the virus.
Losing your sense of smell is technically known as 'anosmia', while being unable to taste food is known in the medical world as 'ageusmia'. The pair are often linked, as your ability to smell influences the way things taste. The World Health Organisation has also added loss of taste and smell to their official symptom list, adding it to the 'less common' section of its list of coronavirus symptoms (which you can find here). Other less typical signs of the virus include aches and pains, a sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, a headache, and a rash.
While Prince Charles appears fit and healthy now, despite contracting the potentially life-threatening virus, his family were previously worried about his health.
"I have to admit at first I was quite concerned. He fits the profile of somebody - at the age he’s at - which is fairly risky, and so I was a little bit worried," the Duke of Cambridge shared. He then went on to confirm that his father had, luckily, only suffered mildly.
"My father has had many chest infections, colds and things like that over the years, so I thought to myself: if anybody is going to be able to beat this it’s going to be him. And actually he was very lucky, he had mild symptoms," he said.
Prince William also made his first face-to-face visit as part of his royal duties today, when he attended King’s Lynn Ambulance Station to thank staff for their dedication throughout the pandemic, and to hear about their experiences.
It feels like slowly, very slowly, we're getting some normality back.
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