Why A Person Infected with COVID-19 Losses Smell? Scientists Finally Provide an Answer

The global effort for fighting the ongoing pandemic continues. While the situation doesn’t seem to improve in the US and Brazil, the top most affected countries by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there is plenty of hope that humanity will win this battle in the end against the invisible enemy. The doctors had recovered almost 11 million people infected with the new coronavirus worldwide.

But how COVID-19 behaves and how people react to it still represents a mystery in some cases. The world needs as much information about the virus as possible in order to figure out what the best weapons for fighting it are.

Smell lost is a major red flag

If you experience loss of smell (aka anosmia), this is a huge hint that you’ve been infected with COVID-19. It’s also one of the earliest appearing symptoms of the virus. Researchers from the Harvard Medical School in the United States had found why smell loss occurs for patients who get infected. The study found out that the virus attacks the cells that support the olfactory sensory neurons. This was surprising considering that sensory neurons, which are responsible for detecting and transmitting the sense of smell for the brain, were not discovered to be vulnerable to the disease.

This is still good news because it contradicts the idea that infection with COVID-19 causes the smell loss to be permanent for most cases. Dr Sandeep Robert Datta, who is co-author of the study and associate professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, declared:

“Our findings indicate that the novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells.

“I think it’s good news, because once the infection clears, olfactory neurons don’t appear to need to be replaced or rebuilt from scratch.”

However, the professor still admits the following:

“We need more data and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms to confirm this conclusion.”

Ultimately, we must not forget about the social distancing rules and basic hygiene when it comes to COVID-19. Those are the best ways the world has for the moment when it comes to preventing getting infected with the new coronavirus.

Melanie J. Gullett
Melanie is one of our most experienced contributors. With ten years of experience in this domain, Melanie covers topics related to health, movies, TV series, and more.