Covid-19 and loss of smell: Harvard researchers uncover why it happens

Covid-19 and loss of smell: Harvard researchers uncover why it happens

But as the disease spread across the globe, the list has expanded, adding the loss of smell, loss of taste, diarrhea, fatigue, swollen eyelids, and toes and among others. At that stage, however, very little was known about how and why the virus affects an infected person's sense of smell.

Dr Dave Montgomery, another cardiologist from Georgia, USA who was not involved in the studies, summarised from the two published research that "the heart can be infected with no clear signs".

The first cluster included symptoms such as headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, and chest pain, without fever.

STAT News reports that, although it's "too soon to say if the [heart] damage in patients recovering from Covid-19 is transient or permanent ... cardiologists are worried" that the damage could lead to serious and chronic conditions such as heart failure. Some studies suggest it better predicts whether someone has the disease than other well-known symptoms like fever and cough.

According to the study's news release, emerging data indicate that the majority of Covid-19 patients experience some level of anosmia, but that it is often only temporary.

"[COVID-19] can infect the heart and, in severe cases, the virus seems to replicate within it", study co-author Dirk Westermann, a cardiologist at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, also in Germany, told UPI.

J&J starts human study of COVID-19 vaccine after promising monkey data
The final price for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine has yet to be determined, said a person familiar with the discussions. The approval for the Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) was granted on June 25, for one year.

"In this cohort study including 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 identified from a COVID-19 test centre, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78 percent) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in sixty patients (sixty percent)". ACE2 are the receptors (or doors) that allow the virus to enter the body's cells.

Research from Germany found that 78 per cent of patients who have recovered from Covid were left with structural changes to the vital organ. These abnormal results were compared to a healthy age-matched control group, and independent of any cardiovascular disease diagnosed before the patients presented with COVID-19. "We're going to get a lot of people through the acute phase [but] I think there's going to be a long-term price to pay" (Cooney, STAT News, 7/27; Guzman, "Changing America", The Hill, 7/27; Lou, Medpage Today, 7/27; Lindner et al., JAMA Cardiology, 7/27; Puntmann et al., JAMA Cardiology, 7/27).

"Sustentacular cells have largely been ignored, and it looks like we need to pay attention to them, similar to how we have a growing appreciation of the critical role that glial cells play in the brain", the professor argued.

Most had clear signs the virus had made its way to their heart, but there wasn't quite enough damage to be considered acute myocarditis - a severe viral infection of the heart, researchers said. This 2016 study, for example, found that in people with anosmia, symptoms of depression worsened with the severity of olfactory dysfunction. "We need more data and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms to confirm this conclusion", he said.

The team now hopes that their results could lead to treatments for the condition, as well as the development of improved smell-based diagnostics for Covid-19. However, it was unclear whether the virus was directly damaging myocardial cells, or whether there was longer-term cardiovascular damage following recovery.

Related Articles