British scientists have explained the loss of smell that is one of the main symptoms COVID-19. The results of the research experts of the University of London and University of reading (UK) published in the online edition of The Conversation.
Initially it was thought that the virus SARS-CoV-2 can destroy olfactory neurons, due which the patient ceases to feel the taste and smell of food. The conclusion was based on the fact that the receptor ACE2, which are used for transmission of coronavirus, are lining the upper respiratory tract cells. However, further study showed that ACE2 are not located directly on olfactory neurons and their supporting cells sustentacular.
Doctors have found a coronavirus that infects the cells of the support and trigger the body’s immune response, which causes swelling and inflammation of the infected region.
as a result, the patient loses sense of smell, however, the ability to taste and smell returned after recovery.
In some cases, recovery of smell may take place very slowly. This is because as a result of inflammation damage not only cells, but also olfactory neurons. Scientists noticed that the neurons regenerate a body from a stock of stem cells located in the mucosa of the nose.
In conclusion, the experts stressed that in most cases the sense of smell is returning to normal after some time after the body fights the coronavirus. For quick recovery of lost feelings, the physicians are advised to hold sessions of physical therapy.