Impaired smell and taste are reported as early symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, generally include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
But there is also evidence from other countries and now from the UK that sudden loss of odor (also known as anosmia or hyposmia), and in some cases, taste, is an early sign of COVID-19.
Colored scanning electron micrographs of an apoptotic cell (blue) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (red) were isolated from a patient sample. So far, there is no solid evidence on this, although many have turned to social media to report loss of odor along with other symptoms of COVID-19.
Until now, it has not been listed by Public Health England nor as an official symptom on the NHS website. But in a rapidly evolving situation, this can change. So why do people report loss of smell and taste from SARS-CoV-2?
First, it’s clear that when we eat dinner, it smells and tastes together. Pinch your nose while eating and see what your food tastes like. You will discover that the only thing you will know is whether the food is salty, sweet, sour, bitter, or salty.
This is because these elements of taste come from the taste buds on the tongue. Losing the smell of food makes many feel that their tastes are gone when, in most cases, they will remain intact.
Loss of odor can be caused by a number of things, including nasal and sinus inflammation (for example, chronic sinusitis), head injury, and neurological disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease). In some cases, the cause is not found.
Loss of odor due to a viral infection, such as the common cold, is the second most common cause of loss of odor, accounting for approximately 12% of all cases of anosmia.
These episodes generally occur when the virus infects the nose, leading to symptoms of the common cold, which includes a runny or runny nose. Once the symptoms subside, their sense of smell returns.
But sometimes, when other symptoms disappear, your sense of smell does not return, or in some cases it is reduced (hyposemia) or distorted (parosemia).
In these cases, the virus has damaged the odor receptors, causing them to lose fine, hairy loops that allow them to pick up odor molecules from the nasal mucosa.
Previous studies have looked at which viruses cause the condition, and many have been implicated, including the Cornovirus family, of which it is a member COVID-19.
With COVID-19, however, there is a somewhat different pattern of infection than other viral upper respiratory infections.
First, loss of odor may be the only symptom, indicating that someone who is otherwise feeling well, or has only very mild symptoms, may be a carrier of the disease. Some people with this symptom appear to be under the age of 40.
The fact that it has also been reported in healthcare workers suggests that COVID-19 has ease of nasal transmission, since viral clearance (when the virus reproduces) is the highest, and even that even in severe cases.
Those who have been affected also report that sensory loss returns within seven to 14 days. A virus generally enters the body by transplanting the entire body and infecting host cells in the body, such as the airways or intestines, then reproduction.
SARS-CoV-2 is believed to enter nasal tissue through the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, although more research is needed to confirm the case. This protein is abundant in the nose, although its function is not clear.
When entering the nose through this protein, this odor can cause temporary nerve damage. However, this damage appears to improve within a week or two after the onset of the disease.
Although most people who report this symptom regain their sense of smell, it is too early to know how many people can avoid a more permanent loss of smell after the virus has passed.
An international group of Earth Experts has been established to try to collect data from around the world on this subject and to what extent COVID-19 is damaged.
If current trends continue every week and epidemics continue to spread across the globe, we expect those reporting a lack of odor to only increase in number.
Loss of odor as the first warning sign can be important to prevent further spread.
The new study reports loss of smell and taste as symptoms of COVID-19. A new study that looked at data from people who tested positive for COVID-19 recently claimed that loss of sense of smell and taste may be a symptom of the disease.
All data and statistics are based on data available to the public at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our Coronavirus Hub and follow our live updates page for the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier this month, preliminary findings on an imprint began making headlines, suggesting that the list of possible symptoms of COVID-19 should include loss of smell and taste.
The study evaluated symptoms in 579 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,123 who tested negative. It was found that 59% of people with COVID-19 stated that they experienced loss of smell and taste.
Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus center for more tips on prevention and treatment. However, experts commenting on the study noted that more work was needed to confirm that these sensory deficiencies may be indicative of COVID-19.
For example, according to Jane Parker, PhD, who is an associate professor of Taste Chemistry at the University of Reading in the UK, “[her] work shows good preliminary (not peer-reviewed) evidence that loss of smell and Taste is COVID-19 is likely to be a symptom, but its role as an early warning signal has not been confirmed. “
Now, however, a new study appearing in the International Allergy and Rhinology Forum confirms that a significant number of people with COVID-19 experience odor and taste as symptoms.
The first signs of COVID-19?
In the current study, researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego Health at La Jolla evaluated data on 1,480 people who had symptoms and influenza like COVID and 19 between March 3 and 29, 2020. These tests took place at UC San Diego Health.
The final analysis reported that 262 people provided, including 59 of 102 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and 203 of 1,378 tested negative.
Overall, participants with COVID-19 had a mild form of the disease, and most of them did not require hospitalization.
Among those who tested positive for COVID-19, 68% experienced loss of smell and 71% experienced loss of taste.
In comparison, 16% of those tested experienced negative odor loss, and 17% reported loss of taste.
“According to our study, if you have a loss of smell and taste, you are 10 times more likely to have [SARS-CoV-2] infection than other causes of infection,” said first author Dr. Carole Yan says.
“The most common first sign of [Covid-19] is still fever, but fatigue and loss of smell and taste are other very common early symptoms,” he adds.
“We know that [SARS-CoV-2] is a highly contagious virus. This study supports the need to be aware of loss of smell and taste as early signs of COVID-19.”
– Dr. Carol yan
The researchers also found that, in people with COVID-19, who experienced loss of smell and taste, sensory loss was generally “profound to complete.”
However, they also note that the recovery rate for these symptoms was high and occurred within 2 to 4 weeks after diagnosis.
“Our study not only showed that the high incidence of smell and taste is specific to COVID-19 […], but fortunately we also found that for most people, sensory recovery is usually rapid,” Dr. said. Yan says.
“In COVID-19 patients with odor reduction, more than 70% of people reported an improvement in odor at the time of the survey, and many of those who did not report improvement were recently diagnosed.” She continues.
The team also suggests that people with loss of smell or taste used these senses to make the most of the time period in which they recovered from COVID-19.
A separate observation also revealed another potentially interesting link, namely, that people with flu-like symptoms said they were experiencing a sore throat, usually negative for COVID-19.
Following these findings, UC San Diego Health staff decided to introduce odor and flavor loss as potential indicators of COVID-19 by evaluating institutions and staff and deciding which patients need to be tested for SARS-CoV-2. Infection
“We hope that with these findings, other institutions will follow suit and not only mention odor and taste alteration as symptoms of COVID-19, but as a worldwide virus detection measure. Use,” Dr. Yan says.
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