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1 million Americans haven’t recovered from this major COVID-19 symptom

Some people are still not fully recovered from the coronavirus

Tess Sullivan receives a COVID-19 test in Utah.
Tess Sullivan receives a COVID-19 test from Brad Langdorf at TestUtah’s COVID-19 mobile testing unit at Provo Towne Centre on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Many who had the coronavirus still have not regained the sense of smell.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

More than 1 million Americans may not have fully recovered from a specific COVID-19 symptom months after their infection, according to a new study.

Which COVID symptom lasts a long time?

A new study — published in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery — found that more than 1 million people had not regained their sense of smell months after their COVID-19 infection.

  • The study said about 700,000 and 1.6 million Americans lost their sense of taste, or had a change in their sense of smell.
  • The change last more than six months for those who experienced a change.
  • “Most of these people recover their sense of smell eventually, but the study suggests that some may never do so,” according to The Denver Channel.

Is the loss of smell and taste a common COVID symptom?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the “new loss of taste or smell” is one of the most common coronavirus symptoms.

In January 2021, a study from the Journal of Internal Medicine suggested that 86% of patients with mild cases of COVID-19 “experienced a loss of their sense of taste and smell.”

  • The study found 15.3% of patients did not recover their senses after 60 days.
  • About 4.7% people did not get their senses back after six months.

Neurological expert Leo Newhouse wrote on Harvard Health’s website that people might never get it back: “Some of us might never regain our sense of smell or taste at all.”