Covid-19: attention in case of loss of smell and taste!

Covid-19: attention for loss of odor and taste!

Sars-cov-2-voren (yellow). Image: NIAID. License: CC BY 2.0

Close proximity to people is more dangerous than contact with objects

Based on a mass survey of sars-cov-2 infected patients, bonn virologist hendrik streeck has discovered a previously unknown symptom: after one patient told his team about a loss of sense of smell and taste that lasted several days, the researchers asked others about it and found that the phanomenon occurred in about 70 percent of those with the disease. In the case of one woman, this went so far that she could no longer smell her child’s fully boiled diaper.

Streeck’s discovery is useful in part because it allows potentially ill people and those authorized to test to better assess whether they have sars-cov-2 infection or a less dangerous condition. Contrary to what one might have thought from the rhetoric of many german politicians, people are still rather frugal when it comes to preserving tests.

A teacher in berlin, for example, was refused a test even though she had a cough and sore throat as well as a high fever and breathing difficulties. The fact that such a test costs the german health system 300 euros, olfert landt of the manufacturing company TIB molbiol can only explain with a "huge waste of money" in this system declare. He himself provides the kits for 2.50 euros, the service in the laboratories should be available for 7.50 euros, according to his estimates.

The absence of symptoms is also dangerous

Overall, streeck’s interviews confirmed the results of a chinese study from shenzhen, which found that sars-cov-2 causes moderate or mild symptoms, such as a dry cough, fever and diarrhea, in about 90 percent of those infected. Or even none at all. The latter potentially challenges the spread of the disease because such individuals are often unaware that they can infect others. The fact that symptoms are often mild or moderate is due to the fact that sars-cov-2 mainly multiplies in the upper throat, and not in the deep lung area, as sars-1. Therefore, it can spread much more easily than its noughties defeated progenitor.

Meanwhile, the U.S. National institutes of health (NIH) and the U.S. Centers for disease control (CSC) have studied how long the new virus remains contagious on different surfaces. It was found to survive in aerosols for three hours, on paper and cardboard for 24 hours, on stainless steel for 48 hours and on plastic for 72 hours. On copper, on the other hand, the pathogen lasted only four hours. The copper-alloy brass door handles that were common in the past were therefore much more suitable for protection against infection than the steel or plastic ones that are common today.

However, the virus does not lose its infectiousness in a flash after four, 48 or 72 hours. Instead, it decreases over time. It happens faster in high temperatures and low humidity than in low temperatures and high humidity.

48-year-old woman died in home quarantine

After the publication of the study, berlin virologist christian drosten warned that one should not now set false priorities and focus too much on the disinfection of surfaces. In his opinion, the much greater danger lies in direct droplet infection through physical proximity to other people: therefore, in his opinion, one should avoid situations in which such proximity occurs. Specifically, he mentions the subway (cf. What against "manspreading" and flu waves really helps).

However, even a consistent stay-at-home approach carries certain risks. This also applies to the "home quarantine" for infected persons or persons at risk of infection. In the austrian capital vienna, a 48-year-old woman died at the weekend after a positive sars-cov-2 test led to her being taken home. Officially, she is not yet listed as the fourth austrian covid-19 fatality because the results of the autopsy are not yet available.

If she died of the sars-cov-2 infection, she would be an example of how an unquestioning belief in pronouncements of the authorities in crisis situations does not necessarily bring the grossest individual benefit. Also because politics sometimes maintains a rather tactical relationship with the truth. The federal ministry of health, for example, tweeted on 14. Marz at 11:55 a.M., two days before the decrees now in effect: "attention fake news! It is claimed and rapidly disseminated that the federal ministry for health. This is NOT true! Please help to stop their spread."