UD researcher studies link between COVID-19 and loss of smell


The university

DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN) —  University of Dayton’s Julie Walsh-Messinger, an assistant professor of psychology, has contributed to a new massive crowdsourced survey of COVID-19 patients from around the world.

This survey provides evidence of a link between COVID-19 and the loss of smell, taste and chemesthesis, a sensitivity to chemicals such as those in chili peppers.

The university believes these findings may have implications for prioritizing the limited supply of COVID-19 tests.

Based on entries from 4,039 participants, representing more than 40 countries, the initial findings reveal smell, taste and chemesthesis are significantly reduced in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

The university found that nasal blockage does not appear to be associated with these losses, suggesting that they may be an important way to distinguish COVID-19 infection from other viral infections, such as cold or flu.

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