Covid-19: Research shows why loss of smell continues even after recovery

Covid-19 has once again become the focus of attention. As cases continue to increase in China, many researchers are trying to learn more about the symptoms. They are trying to figure out how Covid-19 affects people in the long run. Loss of smell is one of the most common symptoms faced by people who test positive for Covid-19. Now, a new study has provided insight into why some people don’t fully regain their sense of smell even months after recovering from Covid-19. The researchers found that it was associated with an ongoing immune attack on olfactory neurons and associated with a reduction in the number of those cells.

A team of researchers from Harvard, Duke, and the University of California-San Diego looked at olfactory epithelium samples collected from 24 biopsies. They included nine patients who experienced a long-term loss of smell, known as anosmia, after contracting Covid-19.

Loss of smell is a common symptom of Covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Loss of smell continues in some people even after recovering from Covid-19

Senior author Bradley Goldstein, an associate professor in Duke’s Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences, says that one of the first symptoms commonly associated with a Covid-19 infection is “loss of smell“. He notes that many people whose sense of smell is affected during the infection will recover within the next one to two weeks. But there are some people who do not fully regain their sense of smell.

In the study, published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers wanted to investigate the olfactory epithelium, the tissue in the nose where olfactory neurons are located, in people who have had long-term loss of their sense of smell.

The researchers found infiltration of T cells involved in the inflammatory response in the olfactory epithelium. And this inflammatory process continues despite the absence of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19.

It was also found that the number of olfactory sensory neurons was reduced. It may be due to damage of delicate tissues due to ongoing inflammation.

People with Covid-19 may be more likely to develop new health conditions

After recovering from Covid-19, life doesn’t always return to normal. At least not for everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people, especially those who have Covid-19 is seriousface multi-organ effects or an autoimmune condition with symptoms lasting weeks, months or even years after being infected with Covid-19.

Covid-19 is over
People who already have Covid-19 may have new health conditions. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Multi-organ effects can involve the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, and even the skin. Because of these effects, people who have had Covid-19 may be more likely to have the following health conditions –

• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• Blood clots
• Neurological condition

Symptoms you may have after contracting Covid-19

Most people with Coronavirus full recovery within 12 weeks, but for some people symptoms can last longer, according to the UK’s National Health Service.

Some post-Covid-19 symptoms may include

• Problems with memory and concentration.
• Chest pain or tightness.
• Difficulty sleeping.
• Depression and anxiety
• Cough, headache, sore throat and change in smell or taste.


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