Duke researcher uncovers link between prolonged COVID and loss of smell

Duke researcher uncovers link between prolonged COVID and loss of smell

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A Duke University scientist said he has learned the cause of the loss of smell during the long COVID.

The discovery comes as COVID sufferers struggle to shake off fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath.

However, long after some COVID patients have walked out of the hospital doors, they are still struggling.

But now Duke has provided some insight into what’s causing the long recovery.

“I have good days and bad days,” said Becky Babel, who suffers from long-term COVID. “Some days are good and some days are not.”

Doctors diagnosed Babel with COVID-19 in February 2021.

Just two weeks into 2023, she’s still fighting. She is still tired and her ability to taste and smell has diminished.

“There are days when it’s hard for me to get out of bed,” Babel said. “I have no energy level.”

Dr. Brad Goldstein of Duke University studied why long-term COVID occurs, specifically the loss of the sense of smell.

The study took 24 biopsies from the noses of nine people suffering from prolonged COVID. In the process, the team found consistency.

“There seems to be some unresolved inflammation in that area of ​​the nose that we think is disrupting the olfactory process,” Dr. Goldstein said.

Dr. Goldstein says the next step in the research process is to identify drugs that can reduce inflammation in the nose.

The bigger picture is that the research could be used to address other lingering symptoms of COVID such as brain fog, shortness of breath and fatigue.

“If there’s a cure, I’d be all for it,” said Babel, who wants to finish her bachelor’s degree and return to teaching full-time.

WRAL’s Data Tracker analyzed information from the CDC and found that women are more likely than men to experience prolonged COVID nationwide. In North Carolina, about three out of every 10 adults who have had COVID are currently experiencing lingering symptoms of COVID. And 9 percent of those with long-term COVID said they had significant activity limitations after contracting it.

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