Does your everyday bagel smell like nothing? Is your shower gel missing its coconutty aroma? Growing reports suggest that the loss of your sense of smell, a condition known as anosmia, is a symptom of COVID-19. But scientists have limited, inconclusive data in hand.

Citing a surge of evidence from around the world, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery suggested that anosmia and related olfactory disorders can be used to screen for new cases of coronavirus. According to the academy, reports are mounting of people who tested positive for the disease but had no noticeable symptoms – other than a mysterious loss or reduction of their sense of smell.

Luckily, losing your sense of smell from an infection doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone for good. Viruses are believed to cause inflammation in sensory neurons in the nose, disrupting the nerve cells’ ability to transfer odor information to the brain. Though, damaged nerve cells in the olfactory bulb can regenerate throughout our lifetimes.

“Most people take the sense of smell for granted. When people can’t smell anymore, it can be a huge emotional loss.” Steven Munger, University of Florida, Center for Smell and Taste.

Ref: https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/04/lost-your-sense-of-smell-it-may-not-be-coronavirus