A preliminary study released Monday determined how long two of the most common covid-19 symptoms that people report can last during and after infection.
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Johannes Frasnelli, from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (Canada) and one of the authors of this study, recalls that, although covid-19 is a new disease, previous research had already found that Many of the infected people lose their sense of smell and taste in the early stages of it.
As the scientist explains in a press release from the American Academy of Neurology, the objective of this new work It was to go further and observe how long this loss of smell and taste persists, and how serious it is.
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To this end, 813 health workers who tested positive for covid-19 participated in the research; each person completed a questionnaire and then took a home test to assess their sense of taste and smell on average five months after diagnosis.
The patients rated their senses of taste and smell on a scale of 0 to 10: 0 meant they had no sense at all and 10 meant a strong sense of taste or smell.
A total of 580 people lost their sense of smell during the initial illness. Of this group, 297 participants (51 percent) said they still had not regained their sense of smell five months later. On average, people rated their sense of smell 7 out of 10 after illness, compared to 9 out of 10 before getting sick.
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A total of 527 participants lost their sense of taste during the initial illness; of this group, 200 people (38 percent) said they still had not regained their sense of taste five months later. On average, people rated their sense of taste 8 out of 10 after illness, compared to 9 out of 10 before becoming ill.
The conclusion was that the loss of the sense of smell and taste it could last up to five months after covid-19 infection, Although the final results of the work will be presented in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Our results show that an impaired sense of smell and taste can persist in a number of people with covid-19,” Frasnelli details.
For this researcher, this underscores the importance of monitoring infected people and the need for further research to discover the scope of neurological problems associated with the disease.
The researchers acknowledge some limitations of this study, including the subjective nature of the odor and taste ratings.