How does the emerging corona virus infection that causes Covid-19 disease change the sense of smell?
And what does the smell of fried potatoes look like in a Corona patient?
We give you the answer here in this comprehensive report.
People infected with the Coronavirus (whose scientific name is SARS-Cove 2) recorded the following changes in the way they smell things:
1- French fries smell like rotten meat.
2- Chocolate smells like a bad chemical smell, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
3- The coffee smelled like a burning tire.
4- Garlic, made it smell like garbage, according to a report by "CNN".
5- The fragrance smelled like dirty nappies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, up to 80% of Corona patients suffer from a temporary loss of smell, and most of them recover it within a week or two.
The scientific name for loss of the sense of smell is "anosmia".
But a smaller group, perhaps 10-20%, lose their sense of smell for longer, and when they regain it, they find their favorite foods, familiar smells, and even their body odors have changed.
Meaning that the sense of smell has changed, and the scientific name for this condition is "parosmia".
This condition occurs as a result of a mixing of signals between the olfactory sensory neurons (which are the neurons in the nasal cavity that detect odors) and the part of the brain where odors are decoded and interpreted.
And researchers from universities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, led by Harvard University, published a series of animal studies that indicated that the ACE-2 receptor, the main protein through which the Corona virus enters the body, is not present. By the olfactory sensory neurons.
Experiments involving mice have shown that the virus is likely to damage the "support cells" in the nasal cavity that allow the scent-detecting neurons to function.
When these support cells are infected, the body generates inflammation to try to isolate and fight the virus.
If the support cell damage is minimal, the patient usually regains the sense of smell quickly.
But if enough support cells are damaged, or if enough inflammation is present, nerve cells can also be killed or their function changed, resulting in a loss of smell or change in the long-term.
The good news about "parosmia" is that its occurrence indicates that the sense of smell is gradually returning to normal, and that the body is repairing nerve damage caused by the virus, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center says that one of the possibilities behind losing the sense of smell in people with a respiratory infection in general - such as corona - is that people with an upper respiratory infection often suffer from congestion, bleeding and other nasal symptoms that can prevent the ability of smell Access to the olfactory nerve located in the upper part of the nasal cavity.
The medical center adds, "We believe that the main reason, especially for those who suffer from permanent or prolonged loss of smell function, is that the virus causes an inflammatory reaction inside the nose that can lead to the loss of olfactory neurons."
In some cases this is permanent, he adds, but in other cases, nerve cells can regenerate.
This is likely what determines which patients recover.
Although the loss of smell may seem simple at first, it can be a very big and frustrating problem for the sufferer if it continues with it, and it can have serious psychological consequences.
It may also pose a major public health problem if we have a growing population with permanent loss of smell.
Loss of smell may lead to:
Impact on the sense of taste and its decline, because it is related to the sense of smell.
Impact on a person's enjoyment of eating, and for some people this may lead to psychological problems, because they no longer enjoy food.
The inability to smell may threaten a person with poisoning, as he may eat spoiled food, but he does not know because he cannot smell its smell.
The sense of smell helps us deal with emergencies, for example smelling a gas leak in the kitchen, or the smell of fire.
Failure to pay attention to these odors in time may lead to accidents such as ignition of a leaky gas, or failure to leave a place with a fire to seek escape.