Health experts have noticed a unique trend among children who had contracted the Coronavirus post their recovery. The experts have found that the children after recovering from the disease may become ‘fussy eaters’ exhibiting an altered sense of taste and smell. A study at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has shown that the particular condition may be termed as ‘parosmia’ which has also been found among adults who have recovered from the Covid-19 infection. According to the experts at University of East Anglia (UEA), children might be experiencing an unpleasant and foul odour and sour taste from the food they eat and as a result end up eating very less in their recovery phase, the Indian Express reported.
The smell which they might be experiencing could be akin to that emanating from the rotten meat or chemicals and making the whole eating experience painful and nauseating for the children. Prof Carl Philpott from the University of East Anglia, UAE was quoted as saying that parosmia is caused by the fact that during the recovery phase the smell receptors are very less and then recovering individuals are only able to pick a few components of the smell mixture which might not be pleasant.
The expert further added that more than 2.5 lakh adults in Britain have suffered from the condition and of late the situation has also been witnessed among children who have recovered from Covid-19.
Dr Jagdish Kathwate, consultant neonatologist and pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharadi Pune told the Indian Express that Covid can lead to parosmia as the infection leads to inflammation to the roof of the nose leading to an altered sense of smell. However Dr Jagdish added that the phenomenon is temporary and once the nasal nerves and receptors have been restored the condition will fade away.
However, Dr Sreenath Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatologist, Kauvery Hospital, Bangalore told the Indian Express that he has received a query from lots of parents that children are not eating well and parosmia may be a symptom of long Covid. Dr Sreenath further said that the condition is not fully understood by the health experts and doctors.
Recovery from Parosmia
Dr Manish Mannan, HOD -paediatrics and neonatology, Paras Hospitals in Gurugram told the Indian Express that several studies have found most children suffering from parosmia recover completely within a month while a few children might take a little longer and recover in two months. He further said that the restoration of smelling sense occurs faster among children than adults who might take longer to recover from this symptom of the disease.
Measures to tackle Parosmia
Dr Kathwate told the Indian Express that it is advisable if the children are not given food and dishes with strong fragrance and smell. Eating bland food and avoiding strong flavoured food can help along with keeping the windows or fan open while eating. He also said that the food offered at room temperature emanates less fragrance and hence could help children eat it comfortably.