We still have so much to learn about covid, this disease that has changed our lives in 2020. Due to its many mutations, the disease is expressed in different forms. Some symptoms that we think are common disappear to better come back, others are brief while some settle over time. And it is precisely a long symptom that ruins the lives of millions of people that we are going to talk about today.
Loss of taste and smell: a symptom of the long covid?
At the start of the pandemic, a curious symptom appeared. The media then explain that some people affected lose taste and smell. Not like a cold would make these less effective. They simply disappear. For many people, they come back a few days later, after the body has successfully fought off the infection. But for others, the fight begins. A woman only regained taste and smell two years after testing positive.
Unfortunately, she is not unique. At least that’s what a study published July 27 on The BMJ, The British Journal of Medicine shows. According to this study, 5% of adults develop long-term taste and smell problems after their infection. This study was conducted by Italian researchers. They relied on 18 different publications. In total, their work includes nearly 3,700 patients.
The study figures indicate that 5.6% of patients suffer from anosmia (smell disorders) and 4.4% ageusia (taste disorders) at least six months after having had covid. Since the start of the pandemic, 550 million contaminations have been recorded worldwide. This corresponds to 15 million people living with smell problems, and 12 million with taste problems.
A study on the symptoms considered serious
Immunology professor Danny Altmann was not involved in this study. But in the columns of the Guardian, he indicates that it is to be taken seriously.
” This is a solid and important study, once again alerting us to the difficulties inherent in mapping the extent of the long-term damage caused by Covid-19. The authors conducted a fairly rigorous meta-analysis across multiple cohorts, modeling taste and smell recovery time. It goes without saying that taste and smell problems are not insignificant for the quality of life. Studies like this alert us to the hidden burden of people with persistent symptomsbut perhaps didn’t think it was worth contacting the GP assuming there wasn’t much to do“.
What do we know about the long covid?
The reality is that we don’t know much. It is not known why some people are affected by symptoms and not others. It probably depends on each person’s immune system. On its website, the Haute Autorité de Santé indicates that “ the most common symptoms encountered are fatiguetneurological rubles (cognitive, sensory, headaches -Editor’s note: headaches-), cardiothoracic disorders (chest pain and tightness, tachycardia, dyspnoea, cough) and smell and taste disorders. Pain, digestive disorders (Editor’s note – stomach aches, diarrhoea, etc.) and skin disorders are also common “.
The presence of these symptoms can be fluctuating, but they are present enough to disrupt the daily lives of affected individuals. No treatment exists. It is advisable for the affected subject to relieve the ailments when possible (a Doliprane for headaches, for example) and to be patient. After a few weeks/months, the symptoms eventually go away on their own. Without knowing, once again, why.
But these kinds of studies allow us to better understand the disease. Researchers are doing what they can to enlighten us so that the covid no longer has any secrets and that we are prepared for the future, if a new murderous wave touches us. Because that is what scientists fear.
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