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Rare COVID-19 Side Effect: Patients Who Recovered From Parosmia Began Smelling and Tasting Garbage

Loss of taste and smell has become a common symptom of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. But a related rare symptom is now experienced by patients who recovered from those symptoms. They said their food and perfume do not taste and smell like they used to remember as COVID-19 has made them disgusting.


The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) (PHOTO: Patrick J. Lynch/Penn Medicine)

COVID-19 Distorted Recovered Patients’ Senses of Smell and Taste

COVID Parosmia Support TikTok account shared one patient’s experience of parosmia, saying that she could no longer eat her favorite food or use her body wash even after recovering from the symptom and coronavirus because it now smelled and tasted like garbage.

Parosmia and anosmia are COVID-19 symptoms that cause the sense of smell and taste distorted by infecting the upper respiratory tract and causing sinus difficulties. After that TikTok user shared her experience, other TikTok users also shared suffering from similar symptoms.

More so, Healthline reported that some people who recovered from COVID-19 and developed parosmia have said that they began smelling garbage, rotting meat, gasoline, moldy socks, or ammonia.

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Some Foods Can Trigger the Rare COVID-19 Symptom

Around 70% of participants in a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported having parosmia after a COVID-19 infection. These participants were 30 years old and over and mostly women.

Furthermore, a June 2021 survey published on Wiley Online Library found that some foods could trigger this rare disorder. These five top foods are chicken, onions, eggs, garlic, and rice. But participants improved within the first three months of developing parosmia as one of COVID-19’s symptoms.

It is still unclear how COVID-19can cause parosmia but health experts said that the virus could have damaged receptors and nerves responsible for the sense of smell and taste.


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