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Temperature checks may not be most accurate way to screen for COVID-19, scientists say

As temperature checks become part of our new normal, experts now say a "smell test" could be a more accurate tool in identifying COVID-19 cases.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hair salons, workplaces and even some retailers are doing temperature checks to screen customers and guests for COVID-19, but new research shows there could be a better method for detecting coronavirus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40% of people with COVID-19 don't show any symptoms, and even people with fevers might not have coronavirus. 

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That's why experts now recommend a "smell test" to screen people for COVID-19. Loss of smell and taste are common symptoms of coronavirus and scientists say this test could be a more accurate method of checking without an actual COVID-19 test. 

The loss of smell is one of the earliest symptoms of the virus and for many people, it's the only thing they experience. A Mayo Clinic study found that people who have COVID-19 are 27 times more likely than others to lose their sense of smell and taste, but they were only two times more likely to have a fever than those without coronavirus. 

Experts say workplaces and schools should adapt their screening methods as a result of this study. They recommend using some form of scratch and sniff testing to help identify potential cases of COVID-19. 

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