This holiday week, many people who’ve recovered from COVID will be partaking in the Thanksgiving meal without truly being able to enjoy it.
That’s because, according to a new paper published week in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery estimates that up to 1.6 million people in the United States lost their sense of smell for at least six months as a result of a Covid-19 infection, reports Denise Mann for MSN.
“Given the surge in acute COVID-19 infections last fall and winter and the ongoing cases, there is a pending tidal wave of new cases of chronic olfactory dysfunction that deserves our attention,” said study author Dr. Jay Piccirillo, a professor of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “We have to try to figure out what to do for these people, and the sad news is that we don’t have any effective treatments for chronic COVID-19-related loss of smell yet.”
Without the ability to smell, you can’t taste food or detect harmful odors such as gas and smoke. Like Stern, many people with chronic loss of sense of smell report a poorer quality of life, and feelings of depression as well.
Exactly how COVID-19 can rob you of your ability to smell isn’t fully understood yet, but many viral illnesses cause similar symptoms, MSN reported.