Doctors say a loss of the senses of smell and taste, even without other symptoms, can be signs of the virus

By Jason Duaine Hahn
March 23, 2020 01:52 PM

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert — who, earlier this month, became the first NBA player to be diagnosed with coronavirus — says he isn’t able to smell anything while recuperating.

In an update posted to social media on Sunday, Gobert says he has been experiencing a loss of taste and smell over the last four days while remaining in isolation following his March 12 coronavirus diagnosis, which led to the NBA suspending its 2019-2020 season to combat the spread of the virus.

“Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is definitely one of the symptoms, haven’t been able to smell anything for the last 4 days,” the 27-year-old wrote in a tweet. “Anyone experiencing the same thing?”

While not common, a loss of smell and taste are symptoms of coronavirus, or COVID-19. According to the New York Times, British doctors recently asked people who have lost their sense of smell and taste to self-isolate for a seven days, even if they show no other symptoms of the virus. The loss of these senses could be a major sign that someone is a hidden carrier.

RELATED: Rudy Gobert Apologizes for ‘Careless’ Behavior After Touching Microphones Before Coronavirus Diagnosis

“We really want to raise awareness that this is a sign of infection and that anyone who develops loss of sense of smell should self-isolate,” Prof. Claire Hopkins of the British Rhinological Society told the newspaper. “It could contribute to slowing transmission and save lives.”

Gobert came under fire when a video surfaced online of him seemingly making light of the epidemic by touching reporters’ microphones and recorders in an exaggerated manner a few days before his diagnosis.

“I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously,” Gobert said in an apology for his behavior. “I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”

Rudy Gobert
Will Newton/Getty Images

RELATED: Rudy Gobert Purposefully Touched Reporters’ Microphones 2 Days Before Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Eight other NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus following Gobert’s diagnosis, including his teammate, Donavan Mitchell; Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons; Kevin Durant and three of his Brooklyn Nets teammates; Boston Celtics star Marcus Smart; and two members of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine,” Durant, 31, told reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic after the news broke of his diagnosis on March 17. “We’re going to get through this.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.