The young coronavirus patients might be at a higher risk to suffer from anosmia, losing the sense of smell and taste. This risk is relatively higher in these young patients than the older patients, confirms the new study.
The study conducted by the Irish researchers went through the details of 46 patients. All of these patients were asked to sense any changes in their smell and taste sense which is commonly called anosmia and ageusia.
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Nearly half of these people experienced this loss of senses which are now added as common symptoms of the COVID-19.
The surprising element in this study finding is that older patients are thought to be at a higher risk of other coronavirus symptoms because of their age and reduced immunity. However, in this case, the anosmia and ageusia are more common in the younger age groups.
The researchers also shared a possibility of this loss of senses to be much more frequent than the actual symptoms of the virus, coughing, and a high fever. They suggest everyone who experiences a loss of these senses to immediately isolate himself whether or not other symptoms appear.
Colm Kerr from St. James’s Hospital Dublin is the lead author of this study. He says that these new findings add weightage to the evidence on COVID-19 linked anosmia and ageusia, especially in young coronavirus patients.
Doctors believe that the reason behind anosmia is the virus affecting the structural components of sensory neurons, affecting their functions.
This study investigated the loss of smell and taste in 46 confirmed coronavirus patients. Their responses were recorded using a five-point scale system that ranged between 1 (‘no change’) to 5 (‘very intense change’).
Nearly 48% of these patients (22) confirmed some level of olfactory sense loss, while more than half and 54% of them reported gustatory sense loss.
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Only 13 patients confirmed losing the sense of smell and eight patients reported losing a sense of taste. 7 patients reported a loss of both these senses.
This loss of senses was not discriminated against based on gender, smoking habits, or the impact of any underlying medical condition.
Anosmia is the medical term used for a partial or complete loss of smell and/or taste senses. It could be permanent or temporary based on the causative agent. mostly it shows up in diseases that involve sinus and nose.
Still, this is not the first time that research has highlighted a link between loss of smell and taste in coronavirus patients. Previously, another Italian study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases explained the olfactory and gustatory disturbances observed in young patients of coronavirus.
The complete or partial loss of these senses is now added as the first symptoms of coronavirus which could show up within a few hours of catching the virus.
More detailed studies are needed to investigate the reason behind olfactory and gustatory function loss in young coronavirus patients. It will not only help in a better diagnosis but also prevent disease in the future.