COVID-19 symptoms like losing taste, smell may linger for months after recovery

ATLANTA — There are many symptoms that come with having COVID-19. Losing your sense of smell and taste is one symptom that plagues some long after they have got over the virus.

Hannah Bellamy is a local college student who got COVID-19. She experienced the loss of taste and smell just like many others with the virus.

However, Bellamy did not believe that three and a half months later, she would still be suffering these symptoms. Bellamy, like most who lose these senses, understands how big of a role they play in daily life.

“You think about it. Your house were to catch on fire. You wouldn’t be able to smell it,” Bellamy said.


Losing these senses for such a long period of time is not commonplace. Some who have COVID-19 lose them temporarily. For others, it can last months.

A recent Canadian study found that a third of people who lost their senses from the coronavirus didn’t fully regain them after five months.

Dr. Joshua Behlmann of Eastside Urgent Care said the virus causes neurosensory loss.

“This is when the virus invades the tissue itself, and now the cells themselves get destroyed as the immune system tries to clear the infection,” Behlmann said.

Behlmann said there is not much you can do in an outpatient setting to get it to come back quickly.

Those with a long lingering loss of smell or taste are not contagious after the standard 10 days.

For Bellamy, as she waits to get her taste and smell back, she jumped at the chance to participate in research on her symptoms that’s being done at the Washington State University.