A new study has found that many people who lose their sense of smell due to coronavirus ultimately regain it, but some survivors have faced smell distortions and unexplained smells, Reuters has reported.

Researchers examined survey responses from 1,468 individuals who had been infected with Covid-19 between April and September 2020 and had suffered loss of smell and taste at the start of their illness. Early on, about 10 percent also reported smell distortions also known as parosmia, and unexplained smells, known as phantosmia.

Read More: NCOC launches app to verify Covid-19 certificates



At an average of six to seven months after the infection and first reporting loss of smell, roughly 60% of women and 48% of men had regained less than 80% of their pre-illness smell ability, and rates of smell distortions and imaginary smells had increased, the researchers reported on Tuesday on medRxiv.

Roughly 47% reported parosmia, saying, for example, “some things now smell like chemicals.” About 25% reported phantosmia.

“Sometimes I can smell burning but no one else around me can,” one respondent reported. Persistent smell problems were seen more often in survivors with more symptoms overall, “suggesting it may be a key marker of long-COVID,” the authors said.