COVID-19 and loss of smell and taste

Posted at 4:33 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 18:33:44-04

While cough, shortness of breath and fever have characterized COVID-19, the CDC also lists "new loss of taste and smell as one of the common symptoms. Some of those suffering from that symptom can feel its effects even months after diagnosis.

In a July study published on the JAMA Network, researchers found about 90% of patients surveyed who lost their sense of smell or taste improved or recovered within a month. But, nearly 11% said that symptom was unchanged or worse.

"Maybe something is just spoiled. Maybe the coffee is rancid and then you realize it's not. I thought there was really something going on in my house. I really thought something died in my garage," said Emily Welsh.

While we continue to learn more about COVID-19, researchers say more studies are needed to determine how the virus has an effect on those senses. One study published found that people who tested positive for COVID-19 are 27 times more likely to lose their sense of smell than those who tested negative, making it more of an indicator of the virus than other symptoms, like fever.