Coronavirus is known to mainly cause an infection in the respiratory system; however, many reports also suggest the nose, sinuses and upper throat could also be affected. These worrying symptoms could lead to either pneumonia or bronchitis. What are the main symptoms of the virus found in the nose?
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Doctors have recognised how the nasal cavity has been crucial in determining the physiology of COVID-19.
An associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology, Ahmed Sedaghat said: “COVID-19 is associated with a fairly unique combination of nasal symptoms.
“A sudden loss of one’s smell has been reported in COVID-19 patients.
“This occurrence of a sudden loss of smell without nasal obstruction is highly predictive of COVID-19 and should trigger the individual to immediately self-quarantine with presumptive COVID-19.”
Katrina Herren, Chief Clinical Officer at Doctorlink said: “A runny nose is another symptom reported in COVID-19 patients.
“A runny nose occurs in around five percent of people with COVID-19.
“There is no true way to tell the difference without a laboratory test to look for the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the common cold.
“However, if you don’t have a fever or a continuous cough its more likely to be a common cold rather than COVID-19.”
In a study published in Science Direct, nose cells as possible COVID-19 virus entry points were investigated.
The study noted: “Two specific nose cell types have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19.
“Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells, which could help explain the high rate of transmission.”
The study aimed at determining which cells were involved in the deadly virus’s transmission and included the lung, nasal cavity, eye, gut, heart, kidney, and liver cells.
It was discovered that the receptor protein – ACE2 that can activate SARS-CoV-2 entry were expressed in cells in different organs, including the cells on the inner lining of the nose.
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Dr Herren discussed how nasal symptoms could often been mistaken for hay fever symptoms.
She said: “Most people with hay fever know their symptoms well.
“Anyone with a fever does not have hay fever.
“Although continuous cough can occur with hay fever if its new and you haven’t previously had it with hay fever you should self-isolate and if the symptoms are still present after seven days contact 111 for further advice.
Dr Sedaghat said the nasal cavity is likely the major site of entry and infection by COVID-19 since at least 90 percent of inhaled air enters the body through the nose.
“Nasal virus production is at very high levels and tends to occur early in the disease process while patients are still asymptomatic or having very mild symptoms,” he added.
If you are experiencing a runny nose or congestion its important to carefully monitor your symptoms and take the precautionary measures issued by the government.
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