Over 1 million 600 thousand Americans novel coronavirus pneumonia lose normal olfactory

Over 1 million 600 thousand Americans novel coronavirus pneumonia lose normal olfactory

Over 1 million 600 thousand Americans novel coronavirus pneumonia lose normal olfactory

The novel coronavirus pneumonia is characterized by loss of smell and disorder. Patients can not smell or smell, which can cause a disgusting effect on their quality of life. Recently, JAMA Journal of Otolaryngology Head and neck surgery reported that 1.6 million people in the United States have been troubled by this symptom for a long time.

The report indicates that novel coronavirus pneumonia is the most common symptom in some 52.7% of the patients with new crown pneumonia. The number of cases with olfactory dysfunction exceeds 700 thousand in the cases collected before April this year. The number is estimated to be over 1 million 600 thousand. As of 2019, novel coronavirus pneumonia was the number of adults with over 40 years of age and the number of olfactory disorders was about 13 million 300 thousand. This increased the figure by 5.3% – 12% in two years.

Katrina Haydon, 24, infected COVID-19 in June this year, which made her lose her sense of taste and smell. After a few weeks, the smell returned to about 70% – 80%, but the symptoms suddenly deteriorated in September. She said that food smells like rotten sewage, and hot water is like rotten meat; Detergents and perfumes have a very strong sulphur smell, while the smell of sweets and dairy products is like perfume.

Because the smell of hot water made her sick, she had to change her habit of taking a bath every day. When going out, buses, supermarkets and restaurants emit all kinds of strange smells, so that she can’t meet her friends. Everyone believed her, but no one realized the severity of the symptoms and felt that everything smelled so bad that it would not have a serious impact on daily life.

Andrew lane, director of Johns Hopkins University sinus center, introduced that the upper part of our nose has a very special mucosa, known as the “olfactory epithelium”, which can detect odor molecules and quickly transmit signals to the brain through neurons to produce happy or uncomfortable responses. If this signal pathway is confused due to various reasons, it may lead to loss or abnormality of smell. In addition to COVID-19, other viral infections, brain damage, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis may also lead to this loss of smell and disorder.


Compared with other nasal cells and tracheal cells to the lungs, COVID-19 has stronger adsorption capacity to olfactory epithelium, thereby destroying neurons and leading to loss of smell. Neurons grow again after damage and find corresponding connection sites in the brain. This process may be fast or take several months. If the abnormality is repaired, the neurons will send wrong signals, such as transmitting some common odors as “nausea”, and the patient will have a disordered sense of smell.

“Novel coronavirus pneumonia is discussed by everyone from the perspective of survival or death, but it has more than a meaning,” Thomas Russo, Professor of infectious diseases at the University of buffalo, New York. Losing your sense of smell will lose the fun of life, which makes people extremely uneasy. For people who rely on taste and smell for work, losing their sense of smell will mean unemployment.

Of course, olfactory disorder is better than olfactory loss. Olfactory disorder means that olfactory neurons begin to repair. If the brain can gradually correct the wrong signals over time, it can restore normal olfaction. However, how long the revision process will last is still uncertain.

Haydon repeatedly searched for help on major social media and found that a large number of netizens have the same problems, including young and old people, vaccinated or unvaccinated people, but so far no effective solution has been found. antioxidant α- Lipoic acid, zinc supplements and chiropractic therapy are all recommended, but there is no good clinical evidence. Most people can only endure nausea and force themselves to eat.

In short, there is no specific medicine or therapy to restore the sense of smell. The novel coronavirus pneumonia is a new disease. What are the sequelae and how to prevent and control it is still unknown. As more and more people suffer from the sequelae of loss of smell, scientists need to further study the damage of virus to smell and develop self-healing treatments.

Russo said the novel coronavirus pneumonia vaccine is currently the only way to prevent the disease. If it is not infected, it will not lose its sense of smell. Even if infected, the symptoms will be milder.

reference material:

  1. foxnews
    ‘Long’ COVID causes bad smells and tastes, depression for some survivors: ‘Hot water smells like rotting meat’
    https://www.foxnews.com/health/long-covid-cases-bad-smells-tastes
  2. verywellhealth
    Over 1 Million Americans May Have Lost Sense of Smell to COVID
    https://www.verywellhealth.com/sense-of-smell-covid-estimates-5211320

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