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Of course, we are all too familiar with the effect that COVID-19 infection has on our sense of taste and smell, but why do most patients get better whilst, for many, the misery lingers on and on? This paper looks at infections in the first wave of the pandemic in New York, examining the symptoms of over 500 patients via a structured telephone interview and review of their notes and results whilst they were unwell. Interestingly they found that male gender is associated with a much lower risk ofageusia and, conversely, a low eosinophil count associated with a higher rate of self-reported anosmia and ageusia – which is also associated with higher rates of fever, shortness of breath and fatigue. Younger age was also associated with a higher likelihood of reporting anosmia and ageusia. There is much to learn about the pathophysiology of smell loss, both with or without COVID infection, but this paper gives new information which may drive further studies going forward.

COVID-19 Induced Anosmia and Ageusia Are Associated with Younger Age and Lower Blood Eosinophil Counts.
Sehanobish E, Barbi M, Fong V, et al.
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Joanna Stephens

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.

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