New York Times: Can Covid Research Help Solve the Mysteries of Other Viruses?

Barie Carmichael lost her sense of taste and smell while traveling in Europe. She remembers keeping a dinner date at a Michelin-starred restaurant but tasting nothing. “I didn’t have the heart to tell my host,” she said.

It may sound like a case of Covid-19. But Ms. Carmichael, 72, a fellow at the University of Virginia’s business school, lost her ability to taste and smell for three years in the 1990s. The only respiratory infection she’d had was bronchitis.

Medical scientists say that although the complications of Covid have riveted peoples’ attention, many symptoms — like a loss of smell — are not unique to Covid. Heart inflammation, lung and nerve damage and small blood clots in the lining of lungs occur in a small but noticeable percentage of patients who have had other respiratory and viral infections. And these patients, too, can also have their own version of “long Covid.”

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