Smell, Taste Loss Less Likely With Newer COVID Variants


By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Could 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Because the early days of the pandemic, lack of odor and style have been tied to COVID-19 an infection. However a brand new examine reveals these telltale traits are a lot much less doubtless with the Omicron variant than the sooner Alpha and Delta variations of the coronavirus.

The findings are important in figuring out whether or not somebody has COVID-19, mentioned lead examine creator Dr. Daniel Coelho. He’s a professor at Virginia Commonwealth College Faculty of Drugs, in Richmond.

“Lack of odor and style remains to be an excellent indicator of a COVID-19 an infection, however the reverse is not true,” Coelho mentioned in a college information launch. “Don’t assume you might be COVID-negative simply because your sense of smell and style is regular.”

For the examine, the researchers analyzed U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being knowledge on greater than 3.5 million COVID-19 instances for the reason that begin of the pandemic. They pinpointed six-week intervals the place instances had been highest for every variant studied, then in contrast what number of sufferers had been identified with odor and style loss in these time intervals.

Charges of odor and style loss had been 17% for Omicron, in contrast with 44% for Delta and 50% for Alpha, the investigators discovered.

The examine was printed lately within the journal Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

“Because the pandemic continues and new variants emerge, this is excellent information for sufferers,” Coelho mentioned. “We now know that every variant has a special threat issue for related odor and style loss, and have cause to consider that newer variants are much less prone to influence odor and style.”

The impacts of the lack of odor and style are “not nearly having the ability to get pleasure from a advantageous bottle of wine once more; it is about security and preserving your high quality of life,” Coelho famous.

Their analysis reveals that greater than half of individuals affected by odor and style loss have reported feeling depressed, he mentioned. “Sufferers with odor loss even have a better price of dementia. Fewer individuals experiencing these signs means fewer individuals being impacted by temper modifications and cognitive issues,” he defined.


The examine additionally may assist efforts to determine what a part of the COVID-19 virus causes the lack of odor and style.

“Unlocking what causes odor and style loss within the first place will assist us higher decide the best way to deal with it,” Coelho mentioned.

The examine authors now plan to review how restoration time from odor and style loss varies amongst variants. They added that extra analysis is required to search out out if vaccination standing additionally performs a job in decrease charges of odor loss.

Extra data

NYU Langone Well being appears on the mechanism behind COVID-related lack of odor.

SOURCE: Virginia Commonwealth College, information launch, Could 10, 2022

WebMD Information from HealthDay

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