Yale finds how to prevent loss of smell and taste from COVID-19

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Scientists from Yale found a way to prevent the loss of smell and taste from COVID-19.

The research is published in medRxiv and was conducted by Joseph Vinetz et al.

Loss of smell and taste is a hallmark symptom of COVID-19.

In the study, the team was interested to find out if an oral medication used to treat pancreatitis could reduce the viral load (the amount of virus in your body) of SARS-CoV-2 and improve symptoms in people newly diagnosed with COVID-19.

They showed that the medication, called camostat mesylate, did little to lessen viral load.

But, to the researchers’ surprise, it brought a different type of benefit. The patients who received the drug didn’t lose any sense of smell or taste.

This matters because the loss of smell, known as anosmia, and loss of taste are common COVID-19 symptoms. For many, the senses return as the infection fades.

But for others, the effect lingers in varying degrees. (With the omicron variant, those symptoms can still occur, but not as often as it has with other variants.)

In the study, the team enrolled 70 participants who tested positive for COVID-19 within three days of starting the study. Participants took the medicine four times a day for seven days.

Although the trial was stopped once it was clear that the main objective of reducing viral load was not occurring, the researchers think the surprise findings about loss of smell and taste warrant additional study.

The team says the drug has very few side effects and has been studied extensively. This could be the type of treatment that is given to someone with COVID at the onset of the infection.

If the drug were to be approved for this purpose, the doctors believe it could be a game-changer.

There were also other benefits to this medication, as the study showed that those who received it reported notable improvements related to fatigue, compared to those who received a placebo.

In order for camostat mesylate to become available for use in preventing the COVID-19-related loss of taste or smell, there would need to be a Phase III clinical trial and an application filed to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization.

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If you care about Covid, please read studies about why are we seeing more COVID cases in fully vaccinated people, and this existing drug can save damaged lungs in COVID-19.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about a new drug that could prevent COVID-19, and results showing that current COVID-19 vaccines cannot effectively prevent omicron infection.

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