As we reach the 10th month of the outbreak and coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the globe, it has now been well documented that the new infection presents itself in utterly strange ways. Although the hallmarks of the illness were known to be earlier dry cough, fever, and unexplained fatigue, loss of smell and taste has now been established as one of the telltale symptoms of COVID-19. This severe loss of taste is now known to be one of the hallmarks of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the absence of a runny nose or any other symptoms of cold and cough.
Given that odor loss has previously been associated with a bad bout of cold and cough, knowing how odor loss actually feels after being infected with novel coronavirus becomes extremely relevant. Many researchers agree that novel coronavirus anosmia (loss of odor) is an early warning sign of infection. However, recent pioneering research conducted by researchers from the Mohali National Institute of Agri-Food Biotechnology and the Chandigarh Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has found that only certain odors and fragrances cannot be sensed or identified by those infected with COVID-19.
Researchers used five different types of aromas, typically present in all Indian households, to create a “smell survey,” according to a study published in the print. On the basis of an online survey, these five fragrances were chosen where a list of 30 aromas was introduced to 100 individuals, and they were asked to pick the ones they could recognize most easily. Five aromas, namely garlic, peppermint, cardamom, coconut oil, and fennel, were eventually selected for the odor test on the basis of the findings.
The aromas were filled in tubes and packaged in bags to perform the analysis, and an answer sheet was given to the research participants to fill out whether or not they were able to detect and recognize odourants present in the bag. 49 asymptomatic coronavirus patients and 35 individuals who did not have COVID-19 were asked to take the odor test in order to perform the analysis.
Another follow-up experiment was performed to validate the results of the analysis, according to the article published in the Print, where the order of the aromas was altered and water was also applied to the smell test.
The researchers decreased the two aromas that COVID-19 patients were unable to identify, i.e. coconut oil and the fragrance of peppermint, after carrying out the analysis. The team suggests that this smell test will help to classify patients with asymptomatic COVID-19. Although more research needs to be done to randomize and generate a final production for these test kits, the researchers claim that this approach can also be used at home.
To do so, you can remember a specific collection of flavors at home and smell them every day. Any loss of smell will warn the person and assist them in taking the appropriate precautions.