Recent study explains why some people still can’t smell or taste months after COVID-19

Recent study explains why some people still can’t smell or taste months after COVID-19
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Imagine being unable to smell or taste your favorite foods. That’s the reality for many who still don’t have their senses back completely after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Nothing tastes the same anymore,” explained Casey Manning, who says his sense of taste is different over 6 months after having COVID-19. Manning went on to explain, “It’s almost like a metallic weird hint of taste on all my vegetables.”

Keith Webb from Tarboro says he has had a similar experience. Webb lost both taste and smell when he had COVID-19 and has since noticed a strange change in taste now months later.

“All of the flavors that I normally would have are now tainted by this bitter almond taste in the background. It’s no fun at all,” said Webb.

A recent study from the UK shows some people who have had COVID-19 can lose gray matter in the brain, particularly in areas that control smell and taste. Though the study was small, following 782 people and their MRI scans 3 years apart, and not yet peer reviewed, the findings may explain why several people report losing their taste and small for long periods of time following a bout with the virus.

The study says long-term effects are not clear at this time, as scientists say they have only looked at brain scans from patients shortly after COVID-19 diagnoses.

For most people, the loss of taste and smell is temporary. However, because COVID-19 is new, doctors can’t yet say if and when senses will return for those with long-term symptoms.

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