Loss of Smell: Reason Why This Is a Primary Symptom of COVID-19

Loss of Smell: Reason Why This Is a Primary Symptom of COVID-19

The latest study published during the middle of this month finally highlights a lesser-known COVID-19 symptom. It is the loss of smell, which is one of the primary signs that a person experiences if he is infected with the coronavirus. However, in most of the discussions about the infection, this symptom is not spoken about.

As per the behavior of the coronavirus, if mostly affects cells after they bind with the receptors that are present on the cell-surface only. The receptors that we are referring to in this discussion are known as the ACE2. Now, the nose cells that helps you to detect and differentiate smells contain rich amounts of ACE2. The experts who were working on the UK study are now confirming that the presence of these receptors in the nose makes it an easy target for the coronavirus.

During the study mentioned above, John Hopkins University researchers collected nose tissue samples of 23 patients. These samples were all composed during treatment for diseases other than COVID-19. For example, chronic rhinosinusitis or tumors, inflammatory problems, and more conditions have no link with COVID-19.

These are some of the diseases that involve ACE2 receptors. However, none of the patients were ever diagnosed with COVID-19. Apart from the nose, the scientists collected sample receptors from the windpipe or trachea. The research team then applied a fluorescent dye to help detect the location of the receptors. Clarification of whether there is an existence of coronavirus in the form of a layer on the receptors’ surface is still not present.

What do experts say about the loss of smell?

According to the chief author of the study and professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Andrew Lane, the team is now waiting for the course’s conclusion. The result will be a confirmation and explanation of why the loss of smell is a primary symptom of COVID-19. In any case, the loss of smell or anosmia is a common symptom even during the common flu. However, it is just a bit more during coronavirus infection. While in case of the common flu, the sign of anosmia is just a stuffy nose.

In the case of COVID-19 is can get severe and cause permanent damage too. The latter case’s surprising factor is that the patient does not experience any typical symptoms that can lead to a loss of smell. For example, the person usually does not experience congestion or a stuffy nose, and yet the damage can be severe.

Lane also said that he had treated quite a few COVID-19 patients recently suffering from a loss of smell. However, the good part is that most of these people got back the sense within a few weeks only. According to Dr. David Gudis, losing taste and smell both are prevalent symptoms of any influenza-like infection. He can also recall treating several patients with COVID-19 who were suffering from anosmia. Dr. Gudis is an expert ear, throat, and nose doctor who works in the Irving Medical Center of Columbia University. Moreover, he being unaware of the recent developments of the research says that scientists are doing outstanding work.


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