The Baltimore Sun: Since COVID, an Invisible Disability Is Strikingly Visible. Increased Concern Over Smell Loss Is Prompting New Research

One day in kindergarten, Alex Pieraccini sat and watched her peers pass around spices,
sniffing them up as a sensory exercise.

Pieraccini, now 30, couldn’t smell anything.

“I was like, ‘Nothing is happening,’” said Pieraccini, a psychologist living in Canton. “I
remember telling adults and not being believed for a long time.”

Pieraccini has congenital anosmia, the chronic inability to smell. It is a rare condition —
approximately 1 in 10,000 people had it according to 2016 figures from the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services’Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

But now, millions more lost their smell as the preeminent symptom of COVID-19, and many
haven’t regained all of it.

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