Smell loss during COVID-19 is different from common cold, suggests a study

By: |
August 23, 2020 2:41 PM

One of the Coronavirus symptoms among many include loss of smell in infected people. At times, people with a common cold or flu might experience loss of smell, however, there is a difference between the two.

Nasal vaccine, coronavirus infection, coronavirus infection in mine, COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 infection, latest news on coronavirus outbreakOne of the main differences that has surfaced is that COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell but they can breathe freely without any running or blocked nose.

One of the Coronavirus symptoms among many include loss of smell in infected people. At times, people with a common cold or flu might experience loss of smell, however, there is a difference between the two. A new study has indicated that loss of smell that is caused by the novel Coronavirus is different than what people experience during common flu. A report by ANI said that a study has been conducted by a group of smell disorder experts in Europe. The study published in the journal Rhinology focused on comparing people with COVID-19 smell and taste disorders. One of the main differences that has surfaced is that COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell but they can breathe freely without any running or blocked nose. They can also not detect sweet and bitter taste.

The report highlighted that this is because the Coronavirus infection impacts the brain and central nervous system as well. The finding is also expected to help develop smell as well as taste tests for a faster COVID-19 screening. The report citing that lead researcher Prof Carl Philpott, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School highlighted that the smell and taste tests were carried out on 10 patients with Coronavirus infection and 10 people with bad cold. A group of 10 healthy people were also part of the study. Since Coronavirus is different from other respiratory viruses, the smell loss patterns are different among groups. It is to note that smell loss has been found much more profound in the COVID-19 patents. During the tests, these patients were able to identify smells less than others and they were also not able to detect bitter or sweet tastes, which is different from when a person has common cold or a flu.

Therefore, smell and taste can be used as a parameter to differentiate between people infected with the Coronavirus and flu. However, the report said that these tests will not be able to replace formal diagnostic tools like RT-PCR that are used for confirming Coronavirus infection. But in primary care or emergency departments, airports where alternative to swab test is not available, the smell test may be able improve screening.

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