Lloss of smell that can accompany Covid-19 is very different from what people sometimes experience with a common cold or flu.
That is now confidently stated by Europ researchers who studied the experience of patients who survived the coronavirus and published the results of their work in the journal Rhinology .
With Covid-19 the loss of smell is instant and almost complete. At the same time, symptoms such as a clogged nose or a severe runny nose are usually not observed: most often, patients with coronavirus can breathe freely lung problems are another story.
Added to this is the loss of taste. Moreover, the loss is real that is in patients, not only taste sensations change due to loss of smell, which would be quite understandable, but they completely lose it, so that they are not able to distinguish sweet from bitter.
Experts suspect that the virus directly affects the nerve cells responsible for the perception of taste and smell.
During the study, the team leader from the University of East Anglia, Professor Karl Philpot, selected a group of 30 volunteers: 10 were sick with coronavirus, another 10 suffered from colds and the last ten were completely healthy.
In patients with Covid-19, the loss of smell was observed especially clearly. They could hardly distinguish smells and could not at all distinguish sweet from bitter.
“It looks like there are, in fact, hallmarks that distinguish the coronavirus from other respiratory diseases says Professor Philpot And this is very important, because testing for smell and taste would help distinguish patients with coronavirus from patients with ordinary flu or cold.”
According to the professor people could successfully carry out such tests themselves at home using improvised products like coffee garlic lemons and sugar.
At the same time, he emphasizes that if a coronavirus is suspected, a routine test in which samples are taken from the nose and throat is still necessary.
By the way, in most patients with coronavirus, the sense of smell and taste return to normal after a few weeks.
Is it all about the nose?
To understand the biochemical mechanism of olfactory loss, Johns Hopkins University professor Andrew Lane decided to look deeper into patients noses and made an important discovery there, the results of which were published in the European Respiratory Journal .
We are now conducting additional laboratory experiments to find out if the virus actually uses these cells to enter the human body and infect it explains Professor Lane. If this is indeed the case, we could cope with this infection through antiviral therapy, treating directly through the nose.