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Physician Explains How COVID-19 Mutes Sense of Smell (


In the beginning of the week, I tested positive for Covid-19. Even though the symptoms were smilingly gone, yesterday and the day before I noticed my sense of smell was quite odd. I could still smell some things, but not all. In addition, breathing in general had an odd smell. This article was a nice read and explains well how Covid-19 can change our sense of smell.

What’s more likely, she said, is that SARS-CoV-2 injures sustentacular supporting cells, which are like helper cells for the main neurons that pick up on chemicals in the air and send signals to the brain. They help maintain a healthy ecosystem in which the neurons can thrive, and they help guide the neurons to grow and make the right connections.

SARS-CoV-2 latches onto specific receptors to infect a cell, but olfactory neurons don’t have that receptor. The support cells, however, do. “Our body’s natural immune response is to bring inflammatory molecules to that site to try to kill the invader,” Patel said.

But that response can overwhelm the structural integrity of the support cells, and they end up as collateral damage. Without the proper support, olfactory neurons can’t successfully relay chemical signals to the brain, effectively silencing smell.

Fortunately, it seems I can smell things well again today, so that’s great. Besides, my self-tests are getting fainter and fainter by the day. It’s a bit annoying I came to Lisbon and had to miss all company activities. I met some friends and family instead, which was also great. I’ll be here until Tuesday.