Study: COVID survivors still have loss of smell, taste nearly 2 years after infection
A recent study found that some survivors of COVID-19 still have not regained their full sense of smell or taste nearly two years after being infected.
Woodmere native Lyss Stern is one of those survivors. She caught COVID in March 2020 and still hasn't fully regained her senses.
"My smell has come back a little bit, and I can now taste about 20 foods," Stern says. "But that is it."
The study was released Thursday by the journal "Nature Genetics" and researchers say they found a genetic risk factor associated with the loss of smell for people who are infected with COVID-19.
The study found that women were 11% more likely than men to be affected. People with East Asian or African American descent were also significantly less likely to say they lost their sense of smell or taste.
Dr. Peter Gregersen of Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research says there is no answer as to why some people lose their senses.
Scientists believe it's because of damage in parts of the nose.
Stern says she hopes the study might help lead to answers and treatment for COVID long-haulers like her.
"So many women, especially that I'm speaking to with long COVID, are having brain fog, memory loss, like what is the gene?" Stern asks. "What is happening and why is this happening to us?"
Researchers say the study included nearly 70,000 people but has limitations.
The results are only from those who self-reported, and researchers asked about the loss of smell or taste in one question.
It's not clear if the results relate to one symptom more than the other.