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.

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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.
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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.”