Recovered Covid patients who lost their sense of smell and taste after being infected with the coronavirus may not regain their senses until five months later.
Anosmia, the loss or alteration of smell and taste, is formally recognized as a symptom of coronavirus infection.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that half of coronavirus patients have symptoms and 16 and 17 percent of them experience some form of loss of smell and taste, respectively.
Researchers from the University of Quebec studied 813 healthcare workers who contracted Covid-19.
More than a third (38 percent) of those who lost their senses had not fully regained their taste after five months.
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Recovered Covid patients who lost their sense of smell and taste after being infected with the coronavirus may not regain their senses until five months later. Anosmia, the loss or alteration of smell and taste, is formally recognized as a symptom of coronavirus infection (stock)
What is anosmia?
Anosmia is the medical name for a condition in which someone suffers from a partial or total loss of the sense of smell.
The most common single cause of the condition, temporary or permanent, is diseases that affect the nose or sinuses, such as polyps growing in the airways, fractured bones or cartilage, hay fever, or tumors.
It is different from hyposmia, which is a decreased sensitivity to some or all odors.
Around 3.5 million people in the UK are affected by the disease, along with nearly 10 million in the US It is surprisingly common, affecting between three and five percent of people.
Head injuries and diseases of the nervous system like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s can also contribute to the condition by damaging the nerves in the nose that are responsible for detecting odors.
Study participants completed questionnaires and completed home tests to assess their sense of taste and smell.
These were done, on average, five months after the Covid-19 capture, and therefore researchers cannot say if the anosmia lasts longer, as the data does not exist yet.
“While COVID-19 is a new disease, previous research shows that most people lose their sense of smell and taste in the early stages of the disease,” said study author Dr. Johannes Frasnelli.
“We wanted to go further and see how long that loss of smell and taste persists, and how severe it is in people with COVID-19.”
People rated their sense of smell and taste on a scale of 0 to 10, where zero means no sense and 10 means strong sense.
The average score for people recovering from Covid was eight, while it was nine for people before getting sick.
Of the 813 participants, 527 lost their sense of taste during the initial illness.
Thirty-eight percent (200 people) of these had not regained their sense of taste five months later.
“Our results show that an altered sense of smell and taste can persist in several people with COVID-19,” said Dr. Frasnelli.
“This emphasizes the importance of keeping track of people who have been infected and the need for further research to discover the scope of neurological problems associated with COVID-19.”
The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and will be presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology on April 17-22.
Loss of smell and taste was officially recognized as a symptom of Covid on May 18, 2020, and has since become an integral part of the diagnostic process, as the NHS says the only three tell-tale signs of the illness are fever and cough. or loss of taste and smell.
Researchers at King’s College London (KCL) recently asked legislators to expand on this set of recognized symptoms.
Researchers from the University of Quebec studied 813 healthcare workers who contracted Covid-19. More than a third (38 percent) of those who lost their senses had not fully regained their taste after five months (stock)
Prevalence of symptoms among patients with Covid-19
Cough – 29.40%
Fatigue weakness – 28.11%
Headache – 27.78%
Muscle pain myalgia – 22.02%
Fever – 18.92%
Sore throat – 18.61%
Loss of taste – 17.14%
Loss of smell – 16.23%
Difficulty breathing – 10.48%
Nausea, vomiting: 8.79%
Diarrhea – 6.03%
Abdominal pain – 5.91%
They say adding fatigue, sore throat, headache and diarrhea would detect ‘millions’ of unconfirmed cases.
Professor Chris Whitty, medical director, is already under pressure to change the official list of Covid symptoms after results of a government-led study, REACT, revealed that thousands of infected people are on the run due to narrow guidance. .
The World Health Organization and US officials recognize other less common symptoms, such as muscle pain and diarrhea.
But current test and trace rules mean that swabs in the UK are only reserved for people with a fever, ongoing cough, or loss of smell or taste.
Professor Tim Spector, Zoe App Lead Scientist and Epidemiologist at King’s College London, said: “ We knew from the outset that just focusing testing on the classic triad of cough, fever and anosmia misses a significant proportion of cases positive.
“We identified anosmia as a symptom in May and our work led the Government to add it to the list; now it’s clear that we need to add more.
“By inviting any user who registers any new symptoms to take a test, we confirm that there are many more symptoms of Covid.”
A group of 140 family doctors in London echoed this sentiment, asking health chiefs to expand the number of recognized symptoms.
They say that many patients with milder signs have not even considered that they might have the virus and have not isolated themselves when they are most infectious.
Doctors add that they should encourage patients to lie to get a test, which is only available to those with all three recognized symptoms.
Expanding the scheme to include a runny nose in the depth of winter would likely put immense pressure on the UK’s test and trace system.
Leading scientists have been campaigning for the official list to be expanded for months, after warning that it does not detect enough infections in the early stages.