The latest reports by the American Professional Association of Medical Specialists suggest that an early symptom of Covid–19 maybe the loss of smell.
Multiple countries across the world including the US have reported smell disorder among potential Covid–19 victims & patients. A proposal has been made to include anosmia – loss of smell to the screening tools by the AAO-HNS – American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Usually, loss of smell is caused by a common cold, seasonal allergies, or a sinus infection, however, if it persists without any of these conditions, it may act as an early identifier for Covid–19 patients.
However, the symptom is yet to be confirmed as an early symptom of the deadly pandemic because there are patients who developed the loss of smell after being tested positive for the Corona Virus.
A recent study by the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland, in mice has enabled researchers to understand the facts behind the symptom. Covid–19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 and this virus consumes two human proteins of our nasal cavity – ACE2 & TMPRSS2, to invade into our body cells. While ACE2 is a receptor on the surface on a cell, TMPRSS2 is used by the virus to replicate itself.
There are sustentacular cells that communicate smell and odor from the air to the brain, and research has found the highest number of receptors on the surface of sustentacular cells thereby affecting the sense of smell in mice, and essentially ours.
However, confirmation of this early symptom of the loss of smell would greatly benefit mankind because it’ll enable us to identify the infection long before it shows profound symptoms on our body.