Health watch: Loss of taste and smell with COVID-19

Health Watch

Fever, coughing, shortness of breath. These are common, well known symptoms of covid-19, but the loss of smell and taste has many baffled. actually, it’s not as uncommon as you might think.

Chuck Fletcher prides himself at always staying healthy.

“I’ve always marveled that I’ve never had the flu,” said Fletcher

Then, covid 19 happened as he was one of six million Americans that tested positive.

“There were times when i was afraid to sleep because i wasn’t sure if i was going to wake up the next day,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher had difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, and lost his sense of smell and taste.

“I noticed that everything that my wife would push under the door for me just started tasting not very good,” said Fletcher.

50-70 percent of patients who develop covid-19 or test positive for covid 19 will lose all or part of their sense of smell and or taste.

Doctor Turner is medical director of Vanderbilt University’s smell and taste center. He says for up to 25 percent of patients. the loss of smell and taste could be the first and sometimes only sign of covid.

“It can be present before things like fever and cough and some of the things that we more commonly identify with the disease,” said Turner.

But one potential silver lining of the symptom, a study out of uc-san diego health found patients that lose their sense of smell and taste may be more likely to only have mild to moderate symptoms of covid. Like Fletcher, who was never hospitalized and now has his senses coming back.

“Coffee was the last thing that came back,” said Fletcher.

A lack of smell and taste is also associated with upper respiratory infections like the common cold. But a recent study found that it is more severe in COVID 19 patients. Due to the effect of the COVID virus on the brain and nervous system.

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