The world is currently struggling to deal with the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of cases is rising with every passing day and researchers are getting to know about new symptoms of the deadly disease. Dry cough, loss of smell are among a number of symptoms that are associated with the disease. Now, a new study conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins School of Medicine revealed that loss of hearing is also another symptom that people should be aware of.
The researchers revealed that the virus can affect not only the nose and throat but also the ear and mastoid bone of the skull. In the study, the scientists analyzed three patients who had lost their lives due to the virus, a man in his 60s, and two women who were in their 60s and 80s. Their research showed that the older woman had the virus in the right middle ear, while the man had it in his left and right middle ears, as well as in his left and right mastoids, as reported by the Mirror.
New COVID-19 Symptom Identified
The study that got published in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, was led by Dr Katilyn Frazier. The researchers wrote, "This study confirms the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the middle ear and mastoid." However, the sample size of the study was small, but still, the findings point out that ear issues, including a loss of hearing, can be a sign of coronavirus.
The researchers stated, "Mastoid and middle ear colonization with SARS-CoV-2 does not necessarily imply current or future otologic symptomatology, and known living patients with SARS-CoV-2 ear colonization may benefit from screening for otologic manifestations."
This symptom is not yet mentioned according to the WHO guidelines. The cases of the deadly virus are rising at a rapid pace regularly. The virus has infected more than 15.5 million people in the world until now and has claimed the lives of over 633,000 people globally.
Scientists around the world are currently working at war-like speed to find a safe vaccine to treat the disease. Many vaccine candidates are under trials and a few of them are showing promising results in recent times. A vaccine for the virus is expected by the first quarter of 2021.