Loss of taste or smell from Covid – it might point to strong immunity

BBC Breakfast: Claire Hopkins discusses loss of smell

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Covid infection is linked to a host of uncomfortable and pesky symptoms. Out of this lengthy list, loss of smell and taste are possibly some of the worst signs, leaving many stripped of their senses for months after the initial infection has ended. However, scientists now suggest that these tell-tale symptoms might not be all bad.

Anosmia and ageusia were considered dominant Covid symptoms at the beginning of the pandemic, stripping patients of their smell and taste.

While this tricky sign left many without their senses for a long time after the initial infection, it might mean you’ve got a strong immunity.

Scientists have now suggested that loss of taste and smell could be a sign of a strong immune response.

The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that Covid patients who suffered from these signs were twice as likely to have antibodies long after the infection.

READ MORE: Dysphonia now a ‘top’ Covid symptom among patients – other signs to look for

Previous research has also suggested that a strong immune response kills off cells that live in the nose, triggering anosmia.

However, these red flag symptoms could also be a warning sign of a bad bout of Covid because these cells tend to be the first infected by the virus.

Loss of taste and smell were undoubtedly more common in the early stages of the pandemic, with around three in five sufferers being estimated to have the symptom.

Due to vaccinations and the prevalence of new variants, once-key symptoms have become less common.

This makes the relevance of the new study unclear because none of the participants involved have received their jabs and the virus has also mutated.

The researchers from Columbia University looked at 306 adults living in northern Manhattan, New York City, who had Covid in the first months of the pandemic.

Their diagnosis was confirmed via PCR tests, antibody tests, or clinical signals of the virus shown on X-rays.

About two-thirds of the subjects reported suffering from loss of smell or taste when they had the virus.

READ MORE: More than 50% of cancer patients receiving ‘end-of-life care’ report same five symptoms

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

They were then invited to the clinic for an antibody blood test at least two weeks after their infection had passed. These tests were conducted between April and June 2020.

Antibody test results were available for 266 participants. Of these, 176 tested positive for Covid-fighting antibodies (66 percent) while 90 (34 percent) tested negative.

Covid antibody levels wane over time, making someone infected with the virus eventually testing negative for the proteins.

The study findings showed 71 percent of those who reported a loss of taste or smell had Covid antibodies.

For comparison, just 57 percent out of those who didn’t report the symptoms tested positive for the virus-fighting proteins.

The research team found that people who lost their sense of taste and smell were about 100 percent more likely to test positive for Covid antibodies than those who didn’t have the pesky symptoms.

The researchers penned in the study: “Results from our study suggest that loss of smell and taste during Covid infection are strong predictive factors for a robust immunologic response.

“Additional research is needed to address the durability of seropositivity among these individuals.”

Source: Read Full Article