It might take more than a year for taste and smell to return for some patients recovering from COVID-19, a new study finds.
A small number of 97 patients that tested positive for the coronavirus reported a continual loss of taste and smell, known as anosmia, for about a year, The Hill reported Friday.
While the study, published Thursday by the JAMA Network, found the majority of patients recovered their taste and smell within a few months, some still lacked the sensations for much longer.
"Persistent COVID-19–related anosmia has an excellent prognosis with nearly complete recovery at 1 year," the authors concluded in the study. "As clinicians manage an increasing number of people with post-COVID syndrome, data on long-term outcomes are needed for informed prognostication and counseling."
According to the study, 97 people consisting of 67 women and 30 men with an average age of almost 39, all reported the loss for more than seven days during their recovery from the virus.
About half of the group took part in subjective testing, 52.6%, and 47.4% underwent objective testing alone, according to the study.
After four months, 45.1% reported full recovery of smell and taste, and another 52.9% reported a partial recovery of olfactory function.
Almost 16% of the group (eight patients) reported persistent loss of function, the study said.
Of those eight patients, six reported turning back to normal function by the eighth month, with the last two remained experiencing anosmia with "persistent abnormalities."
Loss of taste and smell were considered bellwether symptoms of the infection during the pandemic.
The study's authors said, while the long-term prognosis of those recovering from COVID-19 is good for olfactory function to return after a year, more study needs to be done on the subject and other potential long-term effects of the virus.
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