Health experts concluded some months ago that a loss of sense of smell and taste could be the best way to predict whether or not a person may have a COVID-19 infection. This is because reports of those symptoms were much stronger in predicting positive COVID-19 diagnosis than self-reported fever.
Now scientists reveal why a loss of smell may occur when a person is infected with COVID-19
The symptom of loss of smell was only later added to the official list of symptoms despite the large number of people declaring it as a possible warning of an infection.
Scientists have now discovered why coronavirus causes some patients to lose their sense of smell.
Known as anosmia, the temporary loss of smell and sometimes accompanied with loss of taste, is one of the earliest and most commonly reported warning signs of the novel coronavirus.
As part of the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, the researchers looked at nasal tissue specimens from 19 adult men and women with chronic rhinosinusitis, which is inflammation of nasal tissue.
They also looked at tissue samples of the trachea, or the windpipe, from seven people who underwent surgery for abnormal narrowing of the trachea.
These samples were compared to those of four people who had nasal surgeries for issues other than sinusitis.
They found high levels of ACE2 among nasal cells in an area called the olfactory neuroepithelium, where odour-sensing neurons are located.