NBC4 Washington: Garbage Candy & Cigarette Coffee: COVID Can Alter Sense of Smell, Taste Months Later

Imagine taking a bite of your favorite candy only to taste garbage. The rich, bold flavor of coffee is replaced with cigarette smoke. One woman from the D.C. area says that’s what she is experiencing months after having COVID-19.

Parosmia is the term for this bizarre symptom of long haul COVID. It’s a condition in which your sense of smell is distorted, which also impacts taste. Doctors say it affects up to 10% of people who contract the virus.

“Things then started tasting terrible … like rotting garbage. It was awful,” Colleen Herrmann said.

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