Study Finds Some COVID Patients Will Not Regain Senses of Taste, Smell

Henrietta Strickland
July 5, 2020

Of the people screened, 102 patients tested positive for SAS-CoV-2 (1,378 individuals tested negative). based on a high number of the people found to have COVID-19 reporting a loss of both taste and smell, the researchers argue that an assessment for these senses - olfactory dysfunction - should form part of COVID-19 screening measures along with a measurement of temperature for signs of fever.

Based on the findings, they said "the loss of smell or taste is among the most common and persistent symptoms of mildly symptomatic patients with COVID-19, however, most patients reported a complete resolution or improvement of these symptoms".

This is while just 40 per cent reported improvements and 10 per cent said their symptoms had worsened.

The NHS states that anyone experiencing these symptoms should take precautions and should isolate for 14 days.

The worldwide team of researchers studied 187 Italians who were infected but were not ill enough to be hospitalized.

They said smell and taste dysfunction in COVID-19 might be a outcome of nasal obstruction, or may reflect a direct effect on olfactory mucosa and the olfactory sensory neurons, subsequently leading to the symptom.

Then a month after they were asked to rate their senses again.

There were 113 patients who said that their sense of smell and / or taste had changed, while 55 claimed to have fully recovered.

A 62-year-old Covid-19 patient however, experienced a different kind of symptom as a blood clot triggered by the illness caused him to suffer a four-hour-long erection.

Dr Levy, who is a specialist at the Emory University School of Medicine, said: "Even with a high rate of resolution, the staggering number affected by this evolving pandemic suggests an nearly certain deluge of patients likely to present for the treatment of unresolved symptoms".

Levy suggested that in long-term cases, people could consider therapy such as smell-training to help restore the senses.

Professor Claire Hopkins, one of the researchers, said her team is conducting more research on people with long-lasting symptoms. "For people who recover more quickly, the virus likely has only affected the cells that line their noses".

She added that charities such as AbScent are a great resource for people struggling to deal with their symptoms.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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