In the study report, published in medRxiv, the researchers said that they carried out tests on a group of 35 patients with COVID-19.
The patient were surveyed on whether or not they had symptoms related to discomfort in the nasal passage, such as “excessive dryness” and/or a continual sensation of having had a “nasal douche” (a process where one sniffs a solution to clear out the nostrils).
The researchers, led by Jordi Navarra, wrote: “The presence of these nasal symptoms, and their early occurrence, could potentially facilitate early diagnosis of COVID-19 and initial social distancing efforts.
"More than 68 per cent of the patients reported at least one “nasal” symptom."
The researchers also said that the clinical group (patients with COVID) also experienced “a strange sensation in the nose” and having excessive nasal dryness significantly more often than the control group (those without COVID).
Fifty-two per cent of the patients (but only three per cent of the control group) reported a constant sensation of having had a strong nasal douche.
The nasal symptoms occurred at the same time as other COVID symptoms, and usually lasted around 12 days, the report said.
“The presence of these nasal symptoms, and their early occurrence, could potentially facilitate early diagnosis of COVID-19 and initial social distancing efforts," the researchers added.
At the moment these new symptoms are not listed on the UK Government website.
The UK government website advises: “The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of a new continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
“If you develop these symptoms, however mild, or you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, then you should immediately self-isolate stay at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. If you live with others, all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.”