This “dangerous” COVID symptom can last for years undetected

As we have seen more and more during this pandemic, COVID is not a unique type of virus. Right now, a staggering number of people are experiencing reinfections while others struggle under the weight of persistent symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people have long been developing 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 problems. But now, experts are sounding the alarm about a long “dangerous” COVID symptom that many people may not even realize they are experiencing. Read on to find out what you should pay more attention to if you’ve had COVID.

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More and more research indicates that the long-standing COVID is far from a rare development. Interim result published on June 21 from a long-term Dutch study just revealed that around 50% of all patients enrolled in this large study still have one or more COVID symptoms three months after being first infected with the virus. . At the same time, new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that nearly one in five COVID survivors in the United States have a long version of COVID. The condition is “defined as symptoms that last three or more months after first contracting the virus and that they did not have before COVID-19 infection,” according to the CDC.

Photo of the doctor updates patient information before vaccination.

You may also have been suffering from COVID for a long time and not even know it. Kai ZhaoPhD, director of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center in the Department of Otolaryngology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, said recently Pharmacy times that loss of smell or taste is a common long-lasting symptom of the virus. Zhao was also the senior author of a May 2022 study published in Med journal, which analyzes the prolongation of 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 news. “We don’t know exactly for each patient how long they can have it, but we think there could be a number of symptoms with this duration, some could recover very quickly, [such as] in a few days or even two weeks, [but] some may persist for months, even years. “

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older man smelling the cooking sauce

The primary concern isn’t necessarily the number of people who are experiencing loss of smell or taste, or the fact that this symptom can last for years. Instead, Zhao warned that this long-standing COVID problem isn’t actually being detected by many people. According to the health expert, about 50 percent of patients previously infected with COVID who did not report an ongoing loss of smell or taste were “objectively” found to have a loss of smell during the test.

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

Holding hands in the hospital bed

Loss of smell or taste can affect people in several ways. For one thing, according to Zhao, it could “affect their food intake or food intake.” But it could also put you in more immediate danger, especially if you don’t realize these senses are underperforming. Zhao said his “one of the main concerns” for people suffering from undetected smell and loss of taste is that they may not be able to perceive potentially life-threatening situations, such as a gas leak, fire or the presence of dangerous chemicals.

“There are some workers who test solvents and we have patients who have actually fainted while working in a solvent-confined environment or with chemicals they were unaware of,” he explained to Pharmacy times. “So people with a good smell can detect it and walk away or ventilate, but some patients with loss of smell can’t detect that environmental hazard and that could be a real risk to them.”

This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that while most of our other senses are regularly tested, such as sight and hearing, “no one gets a taste or smell test,” Zhao warned, adding that it is hoped that raising awareness of this issue will prompt more clinics to obtain tools to test patients and let them “know the state of their sensory function”.

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