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Research reveals why people infected with COVID-19 may lose their sense of smell-New Indian Express


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Washington, DC: A recent study illustrates how the loss of odor associated with COVID-19 infection differs from what is commonly found in colds and flu.

A study of a group of European olfactory disorders specialists, including Professor Filpot, was conducted at the University of East Anglia. The study, published in the journal Rhinology, is the first to compare how people with COVID-19 olfactory and taste disorders differ from those with other causes of upper respiratory tract infections.

The main difference is that COVID-19 patients also lose their sense of smell, but can breathe freely, are not prone to runny nose or stuffy nose, and cannot detect bitterness or sweetness.

These findings weight the theory that COVID-19 infects the brain and central nervous system. The research team hopes their research will help develop scent and taste tests for rapid COVID-19 screening in primary care and emergency departments.

“We are very pleased to hear that,” said Karl Philpot, Principal Investigator at Norwich Medical School at UEA. What is the difference between the COVID-19 odor loss and the odor loss that can occur if the nose is clogged and the nose is clogged? “

The research team conducted odor and taste tests on 10 COVID-19 patients, 10 cold patients, and a control group of 10 healthy people, all age and gender matched.

Professor Philpott said: “We wanted to see if their odor and taste test scores would help distinguish patients with COVID-19 from those with severe colds. COVID-19, for example, is known to the body as a cytokine storm. By affecting the immune system and nervous system against hyperreactivity.”

“So I suspected that the patterns of olfaction differ between the two groups. The COVID-19 patent found that olfaction was much more severe. They could identify the odor. No bitterness or sweetness could be identified. In fact, it was this loss of true taste that seemed to be present in COVID-19 patients compared to those with colds,” Professor Philpott said. It was

He added that this is very exciting, because it means that odor and taste tests can be used to distinguish COVID-19 patients from people with a common cold or flu. ..

Such tests cannot replace formal diagnostic tools such as throat swabs, but when traditional tests are not available or when rapid screening is needed, especially at the level of primary care, the emergency department, or the airport. Can provide an alternative.

The study also shows that something completely different is occurring with respect to odor and taste loss in COVID-19 patients compared to those with malodors.

It was previously suggested that the COVID-19 virus affects the central nervous system based on the neurological signs that some patients develop. There are also similarities with SARS, which are reported to enter the brain probably via nasal odor receptors. “Our results, at least in part, reflect a specific involvement at the central nervous system level in some COVID-19 patients,” the researchers added.

It is of particular interest that COVID-19 appears to affect particularly sweet and bitter taste receptors, as it is known to play an important role in innate immunity. “Whether genetic variants in people’s bitter and sweet receptors predispose them to COVID-19, or, conversely, whether COVID-19 infection alters the function of these receptors either directly or through a cytokine storm. Further research is needed to find out. The reaction of the body’s immune system.”


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