Loss of Taste & Smell: How to identify if it’s not because of COVID-19

Loss of Taste & Smell: How to identify if it’s not because of COVID-19

As the world struggles against the current Coronavirus, scientists have recognized the similarities between smell and taste, a significant symptom of Covid-19 viral infection and common cold or grip.

Loss of Taste & Smell: How to identify if it's not because of COVID-19

The loss of smell and taste from Coronavirus varies from the effects of cold and viral infections, according to a report published in the journal, Rhinology.

The principal distinction is that people can breathe easily, do not strain or cover their ears, in the case of coronavirus, and their taste buds remain unfunctional.

The first study in Rhinology contrasts the smell and taste symptoms of people with COVID-19 with those with other explanations for infection in the upper respiratory tract.

The hypothesis that COVID-19 infects the brain and the central nervous system takes on significance from these findings.

The research team hopes that its work will help to improve odour and taste tests in primary care and emergency departments for fast COVID- 19 screening.

Professor Carl Philpott, a senior researcher from the UAE’s Norwich Medical School said: ‘Smell and taste loss is a major symptom of COVID 19, but it is also a common symptom of bad weather. Which exactly is the difference between COVID-19 loss of smell and the sort smell loss of your cold and blocked nose?? We decided to find out.

On 10 patients with COVID 19, 10 people with extreme colds and a total of 10 healthy people, all balanced with age and sex, the smell and taste team performed smell and taste experiments.

On 10 patients with COVID 19, 10 people with extreme colds and a total of 10 healthy people, all balanced with age and sex, the smell and taste team performed smell and taste experiments.

Professor Philpott: ‘We decided to see if their scores of smells and tastes could help to differentiate patients with COVID-19 from the intense cold. We know that COVID-19 is composed of certain respiratory viruses, such as causing the body’s immune system (called a cytokine storm) to over-react and impact the nervous system.

‘So we expected that smell loss trends would differ between the two classes. In the Covid-19 patients, we found that the loss of scent was much deeper. Smells may be less defined and sour or sweet tastes could not be identified.

Loss of Taste & Smell: How to identify if it's not because of COVID-19

It was probably this loss of true taste, as opposed to the loss of temperature, that seemed to occur in patients with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 virus, based on neurological signs produced by some patients, has been previously reported to the central nervous system. SARS, which is also reported to invade the brain, is also related, probably from scent receptors in the nose.

“Further work is needed to see if genetic variation will contribute to COVID-19 in people’s sweet and bitter taste receptors, or if it is changing how the infection of COVID-19, whether it is direct or a cytokine tempest-the overreaction of the body’s immune system,” said Philpott.

Loss of Taste & Smell: How to identify if it’s not because of COVID-19

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