COVID-19 / Loss of smell: Recent study shows you how to understand it
The loss of the sense of smell that can accompany the coronavirus is unique and different from what is experienced by someone who simply has a cold or is affected by the common flu.
This is the conclusion reached by European researchers after analyzes based on infected patients.
In a recent article, published in BBC, it is said that when COVID-19 patients lose the ability to smell, they usually do not have a blocked nose. Most people with coronavirus can still breathe freely.
Another characteristic, which is already known as a symptom of the virus is the real loss of taste.
Patients with coronavirus who can not really taste anything and can not distinguish whether a food is sweet or bitter.
Experts suspect this is because the pandemic virus affects nerve cells directly involved in smelling and tasting.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature
- new, persistent cough
- loss of smell or ability to taste
Anyone with these symptoms should be isolated and tested for the virus. Their family members should also be isolated to prevent possible spread.
Prof. Carl Philpott, from the University of East Anglia, conducted tests on the ability to smell and taste in 30 volunteers: 10 with Covid-19, 10 with severe colds and 10 others healthy, with no cold or flu symptoms.
Loss of smell was much greater in patients with COVID-19. They were less able to identify aromas and were unable to distinguish bitter or sweet tastes at all.
Prof. Philpott said: "This is very exciting because it means that aroma and taste tests can be used to differentiate between COVID-19 patients and people with a cold or flu."
He said people can test the smell and taste at home using products like coffee, garlic, oranges or lemons and sugar.
The ability to smell and taste returns within a few weeks to most people recovering from coronavirus, he added.