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Posts Tagged ‘senses’

A little over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and we are all probably familiar with the symptoms of this disease. According to the CDC, fever, cough, body chills, muscle soreness are some of the symptoms of COVID-19. Many of these symptoms are the same as the common cold or seasonal flu, expect for one… the loss of taste and smell.

About 86% of people who test positive for COVID-19 report losing their ability to taste or smell. Scientists are looked for an inexpensive and consumer-friendly way to track our sensitivity to taste and smell to measure COVID in the community.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found a potential solution- candy! In a new study, researchers plan to distribute candy that is the same size and color but is actually eight different flavors. Each day the participants will smell and then eat one piece of candy. Participants will track the smell, taste, and flavor strength of the candy in an app. If there is a difference in the participants report, the app will ask them to quarantine and to schedule a COVID test. The hypothesis is that the candy could be used as a useful tool to capture the loss of sense of smell or taste.  

A sense of smell is often overshadowed by other senses, we do not even have great words to describe different smells! Unless you have experienced a sudden loss of smell yourself, you may not even have realized how much it colors the world around us.  Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 later express a newfound appreciation for a sense of smell.

Before going to work my partner and I must track symptoms like temperature and sense of smell to report it to our employers. In addition to taking our temperatures, we have also started smelling things with a distinct scent, like coffee or kimchi to test our sense of smell. Have you started checking your sense of smell? Would you be willing to add “eat a piece of hard candy” to your to-do list if it could predict early signs of COVID infection?


Written by: Courtney Woelfl, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Cuyahoga County, woelfl.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Darke County, Scammahorn.5@osu.edu

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