Why might some people who have not had Covid-19 have immunity?

How Covid-19 causes loss of smell in some patients

The researchers set out to better understand how smell is altered in coronavirus patients by pinpointing the cell types most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Loss of taste and smell were added to the United Kingdom government's official list of symptoms for COVID-19 in May.

"While we do not yet have the direct evidence for [long-term] consequences yet, such as the development of heart failure, which can be directly attributed to COVID-19, it is quite possible that in a few years this burden will be enormous based on what we know from other viral conditions", Puntmann said.

So far during the coronavirus pandemic, much focus has been on Covid-19 antibodies and the role they play in building immunity against the disease. Some studies suggest it better predicts whether someone has the disease than other well-known symptoms like fever and cough. Datta explained that such damage would have the potential to permanently alter a person's sense of smell.

"Dr. Clyde Yancy of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Dr. Gregg Fonarow of the University of California, Los Angeles, co-authored an editorial that accompanied the two new studies in the journal JAMA Cardiology called 'Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Heart-Is Heart Failure the Next Chapter?"

In a surprise to researchers, sensory neurons that detect and transmit the sense of smell to the brain were not included to be among the vulnerable cell types.

Their examination was distributed Friday in the friend evaluated diary "Science Advances". ACE2 are the receptors (or doors) that allow the virus to enter the body's cells. However, a new study by the Harvard University has revealed that the enzyme ACE2 is instead found in cells providing "metabolic and structural support" to those olfactory sensory neurons and to some stem and blood vessel cells.

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Together, these data suggest that COVID-19-related anosmia may arise from a temporary loss of function of supporting cells in the olfactory epithelium, which causes changes to olfactory sensory nerves, the authors said.

This finding implies that infection is unlikely to cause lasting damage and persistent loss of smell. This 2016 study, for example, found that in people with anosmia, symptoms of depression worsened with the severity of olfactory dysfunction.

For the results, the research team analysed 145 cases of mild to moderate Covid-19 illness within the first week of symptom onset.

"Anosmia seems like a curious phenomenon, but it can be devastating for the small fraction of people in whom it's persistent".

"It can have serious psychological effects and may be a significant public health issue if we have an increasing population with permanent loss of smell".

What's more, five of those patients had signs the virus was actually replicating in the heart tissue.

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