Monday, December 5, 2022

COVID-19 and Loss of Smell

Many individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 typically also suffer from the loss of taste or smell. According to an article, researchers have now pinpointed the genetic variants in humans suffering from losing different senses. A study was conducted with nearly 70,000 adults with COVID-19 and found that individuals with specific genetic mishaps on chromosome 4 were eleven percent more likely to lose the ability of their senses, whether taste or smell, than those individuals without the changes on their chromosome. The two genes, UGT2A1, and UGT2A2, help humans smell and happen to reside in the region of chromosome 4 that is linked to sensory loss during infection, found by Janie Shelton of 23andMe. Both of these genes make enzymes that metabolize substances called odorants, producing distinctive smells. 

For me, when I had covid, I lost my sense of smell, and I know a few other individuals and family members who have as well. I also do remember that news reports did suggest that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is losing the sense of smell but I never heard of anyone loosing their sense of taste. When being sick many people loose their sense of taste especially if one has a sore throat. I believe more research may have to go into this study to se exactly how we loose our smell or taste for some individuals. 


  1. This was really interesting to read about. It makes me wonder since individuals with the mutation are only 11% more likely to lose smell that there is probably some other gene influencing this.

  2. I'd be curious to see if there has been any additional research done on reversing or lessening the effects of the described genetic mishaps (if anything can be done at all), especially because so many individuals are effected by this.

  3. I wonder if there is a significant difference in the genes between those who lost their sense of smell for a short period of time to those who did for a year (or more).