While there is still a lot we still have to learn about how the COVID-19 virus works, it’s becoming more and more apparent that healing from infection is not always the end of it.
A huge number of former patients are still struggling with symptoms months after testing negative, a condition now known as “long COVID.”
The most common symptoms of long COVID are fatigue, brain fog, as well as sleep problems, to just name a few.
However, experts are now warning the population that there is another really dangerous symptom many people might not even be aware they’re experiencing.
More precisely, the results of a long term Dutch study have just been published and show that about 50 percent of all patients who participated in this research are still dealing with at least one COVID symptom three or more months after getting infected.
The director of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center in the Department of Otolaryngology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, Kai Zhao, shared with Pharmacy Times that a common long-lasting symptom is a loss of taste and smell.
Zhao is also the senior author of a study published in the Med journal which looked into this phenomenon.
About this, the expert shared with the news outlet that “Some of our patients who have COVID, even during the first wave, which is March 2020—they still have smell loss. We don’t know exactly for each patient how long they can have it, but we think there could be a range of symptoms with this duration—some could recover very quickly, [such as] in a few days or even two weeks, [but] some could persist over months, even years.”
But the real concern of this symptom, Zhao warned, is not the number of people experiencing it but the fact that for many of them, is a symptom that remains undetected.
Apparently, around half of the patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 did not report loss of smell or taste but upon being tested, they were “objectively” found to have this issue after all.
Co-author of the study and professor of biosciences in Ohio State’s College of Dentistry, Susan Travers, shared with Ohio State News that “Many people who had COVID-19 in the past, probably with the original variants of the virus, underwent smell loss to some degree, even if they did not think they did. This suggests that the long term impact on sensory function isn’t captured by self-reporting.”
Loss of taste or smell is actually a really big concern since it can seriously affect people’s food intake and nutrition in general.
Not only that but without a good sense of smell, people can put themselves in danger in other ways, like being unable to detect different environmental dangers like a gas leak.