Thursday, May 19

Covid-19: what is parosmia, this new symptom that makes food taste like trash?

Two years after its appearance, many side effects of Covid-19 continue to be reported. One of them, the parosmia, is currently attracting the attention of researchers. This is a symptom that, according to the testimonies of people who have it, makes certain foods “taste like trash”.

The scientists who have studied this phenomenon explain that parosmia generally occurs after anosmia, another symptom of Covid-19, which corresponds to the famous loss of smell.

For parosmia, it is a disturbance of the sense of smell which gives the impression that hot food smells of “trash cans”, or even “excrements”, because it releases many more molecules than cold food.

Federica Genovese, expert from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia in the United States, explains that “when the virus attacks the cells of smell, it destroys neurons”, which, in some cases, causes anosmia.

Symptoms that can last up to a year

Specifically, she told Brut America, “other neurons replace them but reconnect badly. So, for some patients, a peach can smell… basil, at best. Because it can quickly degenerate and the smells can be really unpleasant.”

The scientist nevertheless wishes to be reassuring, because, normally, everything ends up going back to normal insofar as the neurons having a limited lifespan, they reconnect sooner or later correctly in the majority of cases.

In the meantime, patients must arm themselves with a little patience, as the effects of parosmia can last between six months and a year, or even longer depending on the case. Finally, it should be noted that, in some patients, anosmia is not necessarily followed by parosmia.

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