ECONOMY

U.S. Residents Search ‘Loss of Taste’ Online as Delta Spreads

Internet searches for “loss of taste” and “loss of smell” — common symptoms of Covid-19 — are on the rise again as the delta variant spreads across the U.S.

Searches on Google.com for those two phrases are at their highest since January. Queries for “delta variant loss of taste and smell” are up 60% in the past week, as are searches for “delta variant symptoms,” according to Google Trends data.

Many of the inquiries come from states that have lagged in vaccinations, according to the company’s data.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask guidelines were among the most searched on Google, with more than 500,000 daily queries, third only to Simone Biles, the gymnast who withdrew from the Olympics, and Joey Jordison, a heavy metal musician who died this week at 46. Mask mandate searches have jumped in the past two days, with the most interest in Nevada, Missouri and Louisiana, which have some of the highest Covid-19 transmission levels among U.S. states.

Federal health officials Tuesday said fully vaccinated people should go back to wearing masks indoors in places where infections are soaring. The country’s seven-day average of new cases has jumped 147% in the past two weeks, to 56,816 as of July 26, CDC data show.

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