Scientists have noticed that COVID-19 provokes a loss of the sense of smell in many people. There is a silver lining; however, the damage is only temporary because the cells that can detect smell aren’t harmed.
The phenomenon of temporarily losing smell is known as “anosmia” by medics.
It is one of the earliest signs of a COVID-19 infection. Studies revealed that it’s a more reliable predictor of disease than cough and fever!
Cause Of The Condition
The reason why so many COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell is yet to be known.
Some say that it happens due to damage or inflammation of the olfactory sensory neurons that detect and transmit the sense of smell to the brain.
However, that appears to be wrong. It turned out that the virus that provokes COVID-19 attacks the cells that support the smell-detecting neurons.
Sandeep Robert Datta, a professor of neurobiology from the Harvard Medical School, stated:
“The novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells.”
Thankfully, that means that the infection won’t permanently damage patients’ olfactory neural circuits.
“Once the infection clears, olfactory neurons don’t appear to need to be replaced or rebuilt from scratch,” he added.
Still, more data is needed to back up that hypothesis.
COVID-19 patients usually regain their ability to smell over several weeks. In the case of other viral infections that damage olfactory neurons, patients need months to regain their sense of smell.
Don’t forget to protect yourself against a virus! Wear a mask whenever you go outside and avoid going to crowded places at all costs! The safety of yourself and loved ones is at risk!