COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Smell Loss Latest News
This News Section Holds a Repository of Information About Smell/Taste Loss and Covid-19.
19th August 2020: Coronavirus smell loss ‘different from cold and flu’
The loss of smell that can accompany coronavirus is unique and different from that experienced by someone with a bad cold or flu, say European researchers who have studied the experiences of patients. To read the full article please click here.
18th August 2020: COVID-19 smell loss “much more profound” than common cold and flu
Loss of smell associated with COVID-19 infection is “much more profound” when compared with a bad cold or flu, scientists have found. To read the full article please click here.
5th August 2020: Many COVID-19 patients lost their sense of smell. Will they get it back?
While scientists work to unravel the basic biology of the nose, some patients are positive effects from smell training. To read the full article please click here.
29th July 2020: Coronavirus scientists discover why COVID-19 causes loss of smell
The symptom is one of the earliest indicators that a person had COVID-19, but the reasons for it have been unclear – until now. Click here to read the full article.
28th July 2020: Study helps explain how COVID -19 causes anosmia
An international group of researchers led by a team from Harvard have identified that anosmia occurs not through infection of olfactory sensory neurons but of their associated, supportive cells. To read more click here.
22th July 2020: Researchers win grant to study why COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have won a grant to study why many infected with Covid-19 lose their sense of smell. Click here to read more.
20th July 2020: Up the nose, into the brain?
Doctor examines link between COVID-19 smell loss and depression. Click here for the full article.
14th July 2020: COVID – 19: Linking loss of smell, depression and anxiety
A recent study concludes that the loss of smell associated with COVID -19 may have link to an increased risk of depressed mood and anxiety. Click here to read the full article
8th July 2020: Smell Loss: A Neuroprotective Mechanism Against Covid-19
The ability of olfactory neurons to self-renew may be an evolutionary adaptation to environmental threats. Click here to read the article.
6th July 2020: Loss of smell, taste can linger longer then other COVID-19 symptoms: study
The loss of the sense of smell and/or taste experienced by many COVID-19 patients can linger even after all other symptoms have disappeared, a new study finds. Click here for the report.
3rd July 2020: Coronavirus: Sense of smell and taste ‘improve for most’
Almost 90% of people who lost their sense of smell or taste while infected with Covid-19 improved or recovered within a month, a study has found. Please click here to read the full article.
29th June 2020: Coronavirus studies strengthen link between loss of smell or taste and Covid-19
A study of patients hit by the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing has highlighted how it affected their sense of taste and smell.Among the 256 Covid-19 cases in the latest outbreak that started on June 11 in Beijing, 33 people, or 13 per cent, reported that they lost their sense of smell. Click here to read the full article.
24th June 2020: Participate in the GCCR studies!
We continue to be part of and support the research work of this worldwide collaborative. Click on the link to take part https://gcchemosensr.org/surveys/en/
22nd June 2020: Loss of smell, taste symptoms can indicate potential COVID-19 patients
Partial or complete loss of the sense of smell and taste could be used for identifying potential COVID-19 patients, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery. To read the full article please click here.
19th June 2020: Coronavirus: scientists uncover why some people lose their sense of smell
Simon Gane and Jane Parker discuss further findings about Covid-19 and the possible reasons for the virus’s affecting smell. To read the full article please click here.
18th June 2020: Loss of taste, smell may be a long-term effect of Covid-19.
Elizabeth Kim discusses the possible long-term effects that Covid-19 can have on smell and taste. To read the full article please click here.
17th June 2020: How is Covid-19 Different From Other Respiratory Diseases?
Researchers are finding that the time it takes to recover a sense of smell following coronavirus varies. Prevention.com explores these variations here.
16th June 2020: Prince Charles’s sense of smell and taste still not back.
Prince Charles has still not fully regained his sense of smell and taste after having coronavirus in March, he revealed on a visit to NHS staff. Click here for my information.
13th June 2020: Why Covid-19 makes people lose their sense of smell.
We’re beginning to understand the mechanism behind this relatively common symptom by Leslie Kay. Click here to read the full article.
4th June 2020: How is Covid-19 Different From Other Respiratory Diseases?
Valentina Parma (Temple University) and Prof. John E Hayes (Pennsylvania State University) and members of the GCCR, discuss how Covid-19 is affecting smell and taste differently to other infections. Read more here
1st June 2020: Coronavirus Patients Lose Senses of Taste, Smell—and Haven’t Gotten Them Back
Preetika Rana writes about her emotional journey and how she feels about pizza that tastes of cardboard here
28th May 2020: Rediscovering Taste Post Covid-19
Aside from its toll on human life, the pandemic has also stolen little things, like the ability to smell and taste. How a neurologist found a deeper relationship with wine. Read more here
22nd May 2020: Smell and Taste Conversations – Monell Centre for the Chemical Senses, Philedelphia USA
Panel discussions and presentations on Changing the Conversation & Advancing Smell Loss Research to watch click here
Dr. Federica Genovese of the Monell Center in Philadelphia discusses recent literature regarding COVID-19 and the loss of the senses of smell and taste. To watch click here
20th May 2020: More than just smell – COVID-19 is associated with severe
impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis.
The GCCR publishes the results from its first survey GCCR 001 here
18th May 2020 : UK Accepts and Recognises Smell Loss as an Official Symptom of Covid-19
A joint statement from the four Chief Medical Officers in the UK said:
‘From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia. ‘Anosmia is the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. We have been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19 and after thorough consideration, we are now confident enough to recommend this new measure. The individual’s household should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for seven days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste.’
Joint ENT UK and BRS Statement: There is new evidence for the loss of smell as a symptom of COVID-19 infection. Full details can be read here:
All major media outlets are running reports on this important breaking news click on the links to read:
“What to do when those around you are losing their sense of smell and taste.” Prof. Philpott, explains in easy to understand terms, the science behind the smell/taste loss associated with Covid-19 and explores the research and recovery rates. Watch here.
May 2020 : Is Smell Loss Really a Symptom of Covid-19 – The Guardian Science Weekly Podcast talks to Prof. Carl Philpott, Director of Research and Medical Affairs Fifth Sense
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why The Guardian Science Weekly spoke to Fifth Sense Director of Research and Medical Affairs Prof. Carl Philpott. Listen here.
18th May 2020: The Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) Release YouTube Video Update Here
11th May 2020 : How Often do COVID-19 Patients Lose Their Sense of Smell? Two Studies Are Tracking Down the Data
Discover Magazine explores how researchers are recruiting participants from around the globe to self-monitor their senses which could help get to the root of why coronavirus patients experience anosmia. Read more.
7th May 2020 : Investigators Ramp Up Research on Loss of Smell as Early Symptom of Covid-19
Basic and clinical research is underway to try to assess the association between anosmia and COVID-19. Here’s what research has shown so far. Read more…
6th May 2020 : Sniffing Out an Unusually Common Phenomenon in COVID-19 Patients
Of all the COVID-19 symptoms Benjamin Abella, MD, MPhil, sees in the emergency room, the loss of smell or taste is the strangest — but not because it’s caused by the virus. Other viruses are known to have the same effect. Rather, it’s because so many patients experience it and in different ways….Read more…
6th May 2020 : Coronavirus: Why Are Loss Of Smell and Taste Reportedly Symptoms Of Covid-19?
Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, discussions have taken place surrounding the possibility that the virus can be spread by people who are asymptomatic. Although the two primary symptoms of Covid-19 have been widely cited as a high temperature and a new, continuous cough, health officials have recently stated that loss of smell and taste could also be lesser-known symptoms of the virus. Read on….
An Observational Cohort Study
COVID-19 infection. As yet there are no reports on duration and recovery rates. We set out to characterise patients
reporting new onset smell and taste disturbance during the COVID-19 pandemic and report on early recovery rates”
14th April 2020: Your nose may know more when it comes to Covid-19.
Physicians are increasingly recognizing the importance of the nasal cavity in determining the physiology of COVID-19, explains Ahmad Sedaghat, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and an UC Health physician specializing in diseases of the nose and sinuses. Click here to read on.
Fifth Sense have joined with the GCCR who are a worldwide collaboration of chemosensory partners working together to understand the links between smell loss and potential infection with Covid-19.
If you think you have or have had the virus and have experienced smell loss/taste or changes to your ability to smell/taste please scan the bar code or complete the survey here
If you find watching and listening an easier way to understand information please click here to watch an interview that might also help if you are experiencing smell disorders and think it may be affecting you or someone you know
1st April 2020: The Link between smell loss and Corona Virus hits the mainstream media
Improved anosmia awareness is key to supporting those affected by smell and taste disorders and understanding the impact it has on physical and mental well-being. Click here to read the story
31st March 2020: Prof. Steven Munger, Director of the University of Florida Centre for Smell and Taste was on AskScience! at 6pm BST (1pm EST) today
Prof. Munger answered questions about the latest findings regarding smell loss as an early sign of COVID-19 . Click here for the link
29th March 2020: New research suggests a possible cause for anosmia associated with COVID-19
Dr Darren Logan, Head of Research at Waltham Science, and the Datta Lab at Harvard Medical School have discovered a possible cause for anosmia that is being reported by some people affected by COVID-19. Dr Logan has provided a summary of the research for Fifth Sense:
As more people are being diagnosed with COVID-19, doctors have begun to report that anosmia is a relatively frequent symptom. As the viral pandemic is still ongoing, it is not yet clear quite how common, or even whether the smell loss is temporary or permanent in those infected with the Cov-2 coronavirus. After this clinical feature was first reported, a group of scientists looked closely at the molecular machinery in the noses of healthy people. They were seeking the particular proteins made by our bodies that the virus needs to attach to, for it to be able to infect our cells. They were surprised to find that the nerves in the nose, the critical cells that actually transmit the sense of smell, do not make the proteins needed for viral entry.
So how could the coronavirus cause anosmia? They next looked at all the other types of cells present in our noses, and found a few types that can be infected. Among these were so-called “sustentacular cells”, which are neighbours of sensory nerves in the nose and are there to provide support, nourishment and protection. The scientists concluded that the anosmia associated with COVID-19 is probably due to these cells in the nose being infected. And when the body launches an immune response to fight off the infection, the nerves lose their support and stop working. This preliminary research was conducted and shared really quickly due to the COVID-19 crisis, so it will take some time before other scientists can review and confirm whether the conclusions are correct.
The full research paper can be viewed here.
Covid-19 and smell loss update Friday 27th March 2020:
Research and information continues to be available if you are newly experiencing smell loss and have been (or suspect you have been) infected with Covid-19.
To read more from Prof. Carl Philpott in The Conversation please click here
This article was updated on Thursday 26th March 2020 to include advice produced by ENT UK for patients with new onset smell loss (anosmia) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“ENT surgeons across the globe have shared reports that they have seen a peak in patients reporting anosmia in the last month. We believe this is related to COVID-19 infection. At present, many affected
patients do not have other symptoms, or only mild disease, and therefore do not meet the criteria for testing. While loss of smell may be caused by other viruses, we think that it is reasonable to assume
that COVID-19 is the cause until tests prove negative. We therefore advise that patients follow
current guidelines for self-isolating if they develop new onset anosmia.
This will also apply to cohabiting friends or family.
Please do not call NHS111 or your GP unless you have respiratory or other problems that need
medical attention. Equally, DO NOT visit the GP surgery or A&E for loss of sense of smell.
With regards to treating the anosmia, the good news is that colleagues in Italy report encouraging
rates of recovery, with many patients reporting return of sense of smell within 7 – 14 days. This
seems to be the experience of patients in the UK.”
Guidance From Fifth Sense Medical Director, Prof. Carl Philpott, Saturday 21st March 2020
Following concerns being raised on a number of mediums this week with regard to smell loss following infection of confirmed and non-confirmed COVID-19 (or similar but undiagnosed symptoms), we thought it would be helpful to provide the following guidance and support.
The 2nd most common cause of smell loss – anosmia – is Post Viral Olfactory Loss (PVOL). Some studies suggest that approximately 12% of people with acquired anosmia have it as a result of a flu/cold like virus and we know COVID-19/Corona Virus is in this category.
Smell loss may only be temporary but it is distressing for those experiencing it; at the current time we don’t know whether the effects of Covid-19 will be transient or not.
Fifth Sense has advice and guidance on how you can alleviate some of the symptoms and apply some self-help interventions www.fifthsense.org.uk If you are experiencing unexpected smell loss for any reason, we would advocate smell training to help you to keep your olfactory system exposed to smells – please visit www.fifthsense.org.uk/smell-training/
If you have any concerns or wish to seek support please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do what we can to help.
We have seen social media comments regarding the use of steroids, our Medical Director Prof. Carl Philpott, ENT consultant at the Norfolk Smell & Taste Clinic, advises against the use of oral steroids in COVID-19 or suspected infection but nasal steroids are safe to use.
Please follow all COVID-19 Public Health advice and guidance and as with all cold and flu virus’s stay hydrated and rest to support recovery. Take care, stay safe and look after yourself and each other
For further reading on the clinical management of and research available into COVID-19 to date can be found here
Statement from ENT UK and BRS – Friday 20th March 2020
Fifth Sense were sent the following statement by Prof Claire Hopkins, President of the British Rhinological Society, and Prof Nirmal Kumar, President of ENT UK on Friday 20th March, which has also been sent to Public Health England.
There is new evidence for the loss of smell as a symptom of COVID-19 infection. We are circulating the following intelligence to Public Health England with regards to anosmia….details can be read below:
Post-viral anosmia is one of the leading causes of loss of sense of smell in adults…… Viruses that give rise to the common cold are well known to cause post-infectious loss, and over 200 different viruses are known to cause upper respiratory tract infections……. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that the novel COVID-19 virus would also cause anosmia in infected patients.
There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia. In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia. In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.
In addition, there have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms – this has been widely shared on medical discussion boards by surgeons from all regions managing a high incidence of cases. Iran has reported a sudden increase in cases of isolated anosmia, and many colleagues from the US, France and Northern Italy have the same experience. I have personally seen four patients this week, all under 40, and otherwise asymptomatic except for the recent onset of anosmia – I usually see roughly no more than one a month. I think these patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, these patients do not meet current criteria for testing or self-isolation.
While there is a chance the apparent increase in incidence could merely reflect the attention COVID-19 has attracted in the media, and that such cases may be caused by typical rhinovirus and coronavirus strains, it could potentially be used as a screening tool to help identify otherwise asymptomatic patients, who could then be better instructed on self-isolation.
Given the potential for COVID-19 to present with anosmia, and the reports that corticosteroid use may increase the severity of infection, we would advise against use of oral steroids in the treatment of new onset anosmia during the pandemic, particularly if it is unrelated to head trauma or nasal pathology (such as nasal polyps).
Prof Claire Hopkins, Prof Nirmal Kumar