Why do people experience loss of smell and taste in coronavirus?
It has been commonly found that some infected persons with novel coronavirus experience a temporary loss of smell. Also known as anosmia, loss of smell is a neurological symptom and an early indicator of COVID-19.
Harvard Medical School researchers believe that the olfactory cell types in the upper nasal cavity are highly vulnerable to infection by the coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2).
Surprisingly and luckily, sensory neurons that are responsible for the transmission of the sense of smell to the brain are not affected.
Researchers noted that the sense of smell in Covid-19 patients was different from other respiratory viruses. Coronavirus causes an over-reaction of the immune system by affecting the nervous system.
The loss of smell loss is not typical of coronavirus alone. It happens in sinus infection, common cold, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
It is still a mystery as there is no conclusive evidence to trace the actual reason why people lose smell and taste in coronavirus. The loss of smell and taste is one of the most common Covid-19 symptoms.
Scientific American has published a detailed article analyzing the problem though. Here are a few excerpts from the article.
How does the virus attack the sense of smell? Research is coming out fast, and we have access to early reports, often via preprint servers that have not yet passed the peer review process and should be interpreted with caution (as is the case with many of the studies discussed above). Mechanistic studies indicate what factors are relevant to hyposmia and anosmia. Most scientists agree that SARS-CoV-2, like the earlier known SARS-CoV, uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor to gain entry to cells via binding with spike protein. SARS-CoV-2 additionally appears to need TMPRSS2, a protease, to help prime the spike protein in the process of gaining entry to cells and a few other proteins. This means that cells must express all of these proteins for the virus to be able to infiltrate them and hijack their machinery to replicate.
Scientists are still conducting research to find the actual reason why the loss of smell, taste happens in coronavirus.
- Loss of smell, taste
- Body ache, fatigue, and shivering
- cough, cold, chest congestion
How To Prevent Covid-19 Infection
- Stay hydrated.
- Wear a mask.
- Social distancing
- Wash your hands with soap water thoroughly
- Use a hand sanitizer. Do not forget to massage with coconut oil later, as excessive use of sanitizers might cause skin rashes, itching, and dryness. Check the video below from Dr. Mandeep Kaur on hand sanitizers versus washing with soap.
- Keep your lungs healthy. Exercise your lungs with deep breaths. This will also help reduce stress and anxiety. This is my favorite morning meditation.