Coronavirus Pandemic

Genetic Risk Factor Found for COVID-19 Smell and Taste Loss, Researchers Say

Six months after contracting COVID, as many as 1.6 million people in the U.S. are still unable to smell or have experienced a change in their ability to smell

A worker hands a nasal swab to a motorist at a drive-up COVID-19 testing site Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in east Denver.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Scientists are piecing together why some people lose their sense of smell after contracting COVID-19.

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics identified a genetic risk factor associated with the loss of smell after a COVID infection, a discovery that brings experts closer to understanding the perplexing pattern and may point the way toward much-needed treatments. 

Six months after contracting COVID, as many as 1.6 million people in the United States are still unable to smell or have experienced a change in their ability to smell. 

Aaron Collins, also known as @masknerd on Twitter, explains what you need to know about high-filtration masks like KN95s, KF94s and N95s, which are able to filter out viral particles and can help you stay safe amid the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

For more on this story, go to NBC News.

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