Covid-19 might affect your sense of smell and taste

29 Mar, 2020

Anecdotal reports have been circulating for weeks that Covid-19 can cause people to lose their sense of smell. This week, the idea gained credibility with the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology suggesting that so-called anosmia could be a useful symptom for screening for the virus, based on reports from South Korea, China and Italy, and higher than usual numbers reporting the complaint in UK clinics. On Monday, World Health Organization officials also said they were also looking into the possible link. “We are reaching out to a number of countries and looking at the cases that have already been reported to see if this is a common feature,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses unit. “We don’t have the answer to that yet.”

The good news is that even if the coronavirus kills off some of your olfactory cells, the nose lining contains stem cells to make replacements. “Colleagues in Italy report encouraging rates of recovery, with many patients reporting return of sense of smell within seven to 14 days,” the British association advises. “This seems to be the experience of patients in the UK.”

[Text extracted from The Guardian]