The novel coronavirus that apparently originated from Wuhan is now spreading chaos in all nooks of the world. Scientists have revealed the classic symptoms of COVID-19 infection are persistent cough, throat pain, fever, and loss of taste and smell.
Medical experts have wondered how respiratory infections will prevent someone from being able to smell. And now, a new study has shed light on the reasons which causes a patient to lose the sense of smell following coronavirus infection.
Harvard Medical School Researchers Reveal Reason
A new study conducted by scientists at Harvard Medical School has identified the cells which are vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Researchers, in their study report, noted that neurons that are responsible for detecting and transmitting the sense of smell and taste to the human brain are not vulnerable.
However, researchers found that the ACE 2 receptor protein that COVID-19 uses to enter the human body is found in the cells that provide structural and metabolic support. According to scientists, these cells are actually responsible for anosmia, where a patient loses the sensation of taste and smell.
Can Coronavirus Patients Regain the Smelling Sense?
Researchers who took part in the study revealed that coronavirus patients regain the smelling sense when their body becomes free from the infection.
"Our findings indicate that the novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells. I think it's good news because once the infection clears, olfactory neurons don't appear to need to be replaced or rebuilt from scratch," said Sandeep Robert Dutta, senior author of the study, Science Advances reports.
Coronavirus: Latest updates
The United States continues to remain as the hotbed of the coronavirus pandemic even after seven months of the outbreak. According to the latest statistics, the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 150,500 people in the US, and the total number of cases has risen to 440,000. As several states are planning to ease the lockdown measures, medical experts believe that this count may drastically surge in the coming days.