As we all know by now, millions of people who are suffering from the deadly COVID-19 show symptoms, such as high fever and respiratory issues. However, one of the most ignored yet significant symptoms of the virus includes loss of taste and smell. So, a recent study in India tried to find out if the loss of any particular smell could be more of a warning sign for the patients or not.
The Indian researchers took five unique odors and asked the participants of the study to identify all the common smells. This list includes the smell of peppermint, garlic, coconut oil, fennel, and cardamom. The organizers of the study even made mobile test kits to help participants take part in the study from the comfort of their homes.
Now, the study actually found that participants who could not smell the coconut oil and peppermint are more likely to contract COVID-19 than others. Amongst the participants, almost 25% of them could not identify the smell of peppermint. While 21% of the participants could not identify the smell of coconut oil.
The research team at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center also conducted similar tests on participants.
So, when speaking about the loss of taste and smell as a COVID symptom, the team stated, “One possibility is that people with upper respiratory infections often have congestion, drainage and other nasal symptoms that can block odor’s ability to reach the smell nerve, which sits at the top of the nasal cavity. But, we believe the primary cause, particularly for people with extended or permanent loss of smell function, is that the virus causes an inflammatory reaction inside the nose that can lead to a loss of the olfactory, or smell, neurons.”