From the early days of the pandemic, loss of sense of smell and taste was associated with COVID-19 infection. But a new study shows that these indicative traits are much less likely Amicron option than previous alpha and delta versions of the coronavirus.

Findings are important to determine if someone has COVID-19said lead study author Dr. Daniel Coelho. He is a professor at the Commonwealth University of Virginia School of Medicine in Richmond.

“Loss of sense of smell and taste is still a good indicator of COVID-19 infection, but the opposite is no longer true, “Coelho said in a university press release.” Don’t think you’re a negative COVID-19 just because you sense of smell and the taste is normal. “

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Institutes of Health on more than 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. They identified six-week periods when the incidence was highest for each variant studied, and then compared how many patients were diagnosed with olfactory and loss of taste during these time periods.

The researchers found that the loss of sense of smell and taste was 17% for Omicron, compared with 44% for Delta and 50% for Alpha.

The study was published recently in the Journal Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery.

“As the pandemic continues and new options are emerging, this is very good news for patients,” Coelho said. “We now know that each option has a different risk factor for concomitant loss of odor and taste, and we have reason to believe that new options are less likely to affect odor and taste.”

Impact’s loss of sense of smell and taste is “not just an opportunity to enjoy a great bottle of wine again; it’s safety and quality of life,” Coelho said.

Them research shows that more than half of people suffering from loss of sense of smell and taste feel depressed, he said. “Patients with olfactory loss also have higher levels dementia. Fewer people experiencing these symptoms means fewer people are exposed to mood swings and cognitive problems, ”he explained.

Research can also help identify which part of the COVID-19 virus causes loss of smell and taste.

“Unlocking what causes loss of smell and taste will first help us better determine how to treat it,” Coelho said.

Now the authors of the study plan to study how recovery time from loss of smell and taste varies in different variants. They added that more research is needed to find out whether vaccination status also plays a role in lower rates smell loss.


People with certain genetic loci are 11% more likely to lose the ability to sniff or taste COVID


Additional information:
Daniel H. Coelho et al., Reducing the frequency of chemosensory changes according to COVID-19, Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery (2022). DOI: 10.1177 / 01945998221097656

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Citation: Smell, loss of taste less likely with new COVID variants: study (2022, May 11) obtained May 11, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-loss-covid-variants.html

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