As scientists decipher how the coronavirus COVID-19 works, more and more understanding is developed and then released to the public. Today is one of those days.
Back in early March, a nurse working at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington said she noticed a common symptom throughout all coronavirus patients. This symptom is the loss of taste and smell, or more specifically, anosmia and dysgeusia. At the time of the discovery this symptom wasn't really being talked about, but now scientists have explained it.
Researchers at the University of Harvard put their man-power to work in trying to provide a scientific explanation for these specific symptoms. According to the study, which was recently published in bioRxiv, the scientists found that he SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to cells in the olfactory epithelium (nasal cavity), and more specifically targeting the sustentacular cells. These cells are the ones that provide the structural support to the neurons that sense different odors.
Harvard Medical School associate professor Sandeep R. Datta spoke to The Harvard Crimson and said, "There seems to be a strong association between the development of disturbances in smell and getting COVID-19. It seems like this may be one of the hallmarks of the disease."
Datta also talked about the recent finding, saying "That's interesting because it might provide some potential mechanisms for how the coronavirus might actually cause a change in your sense of smell. I think, at least at first pass, those mechanisms are not the ones we would have naively expected."
As with most findings to do with the coronavirus, more research needs to be done to conclude the evidence. At the moment these findings aren't validated (peer reviewed) even though there is substantial evidence to suggest they are right. The findings do suggest that the loss of smell occurs extremely fast after the infection has taken place. "It's a little bit like a switch being flipped, where one day you smell, and the next day, you don't," Datta said.
Important Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
Medications: It has also been found that these medications can aggravate coronavirus cases, more on that can be found here.
How long it stays on surfaces: Researchers have also discovered how long the coronavirus stays on surfaces, find out more here.
How it makes you sick: Scientists have figured out exactly how the coronavirus COVID-19 makes you sick, find out how here.
The human body fight: Developing research has been able to pinpoint exactly how the human body fights off coronavirus COVID-19, more can be found here.
Early warning sign of infection - Doctors have discovered the important early warning sign of COVID-19 infection, find out what it is here.
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