Long Covid victims report smelling ‘unbearable’ odours like stinking fish

Horrific smells are not going away for long Covid sufferers, who claim they have become haunted by the likes of fish and burning.

While coronavirus passes quickly for most, some people suffer long-term effects which has since been identified as Long Covid.

And now, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon has claimed patients are experiencing a new symptom.

Thousands of people across the UK have had their sense of smell affected as a result of Covid-19, Professor Nirmal Kumar said with some recovering only to experience parosmia.

Prof Kumar said: "This morning I saw two patients with parosmia.

"One said they could smell fish in place of any other scent, and the other can smell burning when there is no smoke around.

"Both are healthcare workers and we think there is increased incidence in young people and also in healthcare workers because of exposure to the virus in hospitals.

"For some people, it is really upsetting them."

"We are calling it neurotropic virus," he added. "What this means is the virus is affecting the nerves in the roof of the nose – it's like a shock to your nervous system, and the nerves aren't functioning."

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Patients have shared their experience of bizarre smells with charity AbScent.

London banker,Daniel Saveski, 24, said he caught coronavirus in March which impacted his sense of smell two weeks later.

Still suffering from parosmia, Mr Saveski said strong-smelling things like bins now have a burning, sulphur-like odour, or smell "like toast".

He added: "It's lessened my enjoyment of food, and it's a bit depressing not being able to smell certain foods."

Lynn Corbett, an administrator for an estate agent, said she was "shocked" to wake up on her 52nd birthday in March with "absolutely no smell or taste".

Ms Corbett, from Selsey in Sussex, said: "From March right through to around the end of May I couldn't taste a thing – I honestly think I could have bitten into a raw onion such was my loss of taste."

She said her sense of smell began to return in June, but "nothing smelled like it should".

"Most things smelled disgusting, this sickly sweet smell which is hard to describe as I've never come across it before."

Charity AbScent, which supports people with smell disorders, is gathering information from thousands of anosmia and parosmia patients in partnership with ENT UK and the British Rhinological Society to aid the development of therapies.

AbScent recommends "smell training", which involves sniffing rose, lemon, clove and eucalyptus oils every day for around 20 seconds for those trying to regain their sense of smell.

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