This ‘dangerous’ COVID symptom can go years undetected

This 'dangerous' COVID symptom can go years undetected

As we have seen more and more throughout this pandemic, COVID is not a single type of virus. Right now, a staggering number of people are experiencing reinfections while others are struggling under the weight of lingering symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people develop long COVID from their infections, which can cause some symptoms to persist for weeks, months, or even years. Some of the more common long-term effects include fatigue, brain fog, and sleep issues. But now experts are sounding the alarm over a long “dangerous” COVID symptom that many people may not even realize they are experiencing. Read on to find out what you should pay special attention to if you’ve had COVID.

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A growing body of research indicates that long COVID is far from a rare development. The interim result published on June 21 from a long-term Dutch study has just revealed that approximately 50% of all patients enrolled in this large study still have one or more symptoms of COVID three months after being infected for the first time. by the virus. Meanwhile, new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that nearly one in five US COVID survivors have a long version of COVID. The condition is “defined as symptoms that last three months or more after first contracting the virus, and which they did not have prior to their infection with COVID-19,” according to the CDC.

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You could also be going through a long period of COVID without even knowing it. Kai ZhaoPhD, director of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, recently stated Pharmacy hours this loss of smell or taste is a common and long-lasting symptom of the virus. Zhao was also the lead author of a May 2022 study published in the With journal, which analyzes the prolonged loss of smell and taste years after an initial COVID infection.

“Some of our patients who have COVID, even during the first wave, which is March 2020, still have a loss of smell,” he told the outlet. “We don’t know for each patient exactly how long they may have it, but we think there could be a range of symptoms with that duration – some may recover very quickly, [such as] in a few days or even two weeks, [but] some could persist for months or even years.”

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The main concern is not necessarily how many people experience a loss of smell or taste, or the fact that this symptom can last for years. Instead, Zhao warned that this long COVID issue is actually undetected by many people. According to the health expert, approximately 50% of previously COVID-infected patients who did not report continued loss of smell or taste were “objectively” found to have loss of smell when tested.

“Many people who have had COVID in the past, probably with the original variants of the virus, have experienced some loss of smell even though they didn’t think it was,” Susan Travers, PhD, study co-author and professor of biosciences at Ohio State College of Dentistry, said in a statement, per Ohio State News. “This suggests that the long-term impact on sensory function is not captured by self-report.”

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Loss of smell or taste can affect people in different ways. For one thing, according to Zhao, it could “affect their nutritional intake or food intake.” But it could also put you in more immediate danger, especially if you don’t realize those senses are underperforming. Zhao said his “one major concern” for people with undetected loss of smell and taste is that they might not be able to detect life-threatening situations, such as a gas leak. , fire or the presence of hazardous chemicals.

“There are workers testing solvents, and we have patients who have been knocked out working in a confined environment with solvents or with chemicals that they weren’t aware of,” he explained. at Pharmacy hours. “So people with good olfactory function can detect that and leave or ventilate, but some patients with loss of smell can’t detect that environmental hazard, and it could be a real risk for them.”

This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that while most of our other senses are routinely tested, such as sight and hearing, “no one is tested for taste or smell,” Zhao warned, adding that Hopefully, awareness of this issue will drive more clinics to obtain tools to test patients and allow them to “know the state of their sensory function”.

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