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Long Covid Patients Report Smelling Weird Things Like Burned Toast And Fish

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Long Covid Patients Report Smelling Weird Things Like Burned Toast And Fish

Patients who are suffering from Long Covid are reporting experiencing horrifically bad smells in place of normal ones, according to researchers.

The unusual symptom has left certain sufferers from the longer form of coronavirus smelling things like fish and burning, in situations when they'd ordinarily be smelling something else.

Ear, nose and throat surgeon Professor Nirmal Kumar explained to The Daily Mirror that the 'very strange and very unique' symptom appears to be affecting young people and health workers for the most part.

It's just one of several strange symptoms of Long Covid that have been identified so far.


Smelling things that aren't there, or that are different to what you'd expect to smell, is called parosmia, and it sounds like it must be rough for those experiencing it.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Professor Kumar was one of the first medical professionals to recognise that anosmia - a loss of smell - is one of the key indicators of Covid-19, and asked for it to be added to the official list of symptoms long before the government made it official.

The Professor has a long history of treating patients with anosmia, which he claims affects thousands across the UK, but after studying more patients across the UK, he's now discovered that several are reporting parosmia as well.


He told the Mirror: "This morning I saw two patients with parosmia.

"One said they could smell fish in place of any other scent, and the other can smell burning when there is no smoke around.

"Both are healthcare workers, and we think there is increased incidence in young people and also in healthcare workers because of exposure to the virus in hospitals.

"For some people, it is really upsetting them."


He continued: "We are calling it neurotropic virus.

"What this means is the virus is affecting the nerves in the roof of the nose - it's like a shock to your nervous system, and the nerves aren't functioning."

One patient, 24-year-old Daniel Saveski from West Yorkshire, said that he can now smell something like burning toast whenever he's around something with a strong scent.

He said: "It's lessened my enjoyment of food, and it's a bit depressing not being able to smell certain foods."


Another patient, Lynn Corbett, said that she lost her smell when she contracted the virus in March, but is now also experiencing parosmia.

She explained: "From March right through to around the end of May I couldn't taste a thing - I honestly think I could have bitten into a raw onion such was my loss of taste."

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

Once it came back, she said that 'nothing smelled like it should'.


She continued: "Most things smelled disgusting, this sickly sweet smell which is hard to describe as I've never come across it before,

"I'm not sure if things will ever return to the way they were.

"I'm OK with it, I just think myself lucky that if I did have coronavirus, which it looks like I did, then I haven't been seriously ill, hospitalised or died from it like so many others."

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: UK News, Weird, Health

Tom Wood
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