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Loss Of Sense Of Smell Among Iranians Coinciding With Coronavirus Epidemic

A city worker disinfects a bus stop sign because of the new coronavirus in Tehran, March 5, 2020

A medical expert in Iran has confirmed numerous citizen reports indicating a loss of the sense of smell and vision among people in recent weeks, coinciding with the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Deputy Chairman of Iran’s Rhinology Association Dr. Ebrahim Razmpa told the local ISNA news website that “During the last month there is a sudden, unexpected and unbelievable jump in cases of weak sense of smell and difficulty with vision”, reported across the country.

"Rhinology is the study of the nose, including the sinuses. Rhinology concerns itself with medical and surgical diseases of the nasal passages as well as paranasal sinuses", the journal of Otology & Rhinology describes.

Razmpa who is an ENT surgeon says there are two theories as to why the sense of smell is deteriorating among many people in Iran.

The first theory revolves around the impact of coronavirus, which seems to be more probable, he said.

Razmpa however added that this does not mean everyone who has a problem with the sense of smell is infected with the coronavirus.

The second possibility is that the phenomenon is related to increasing exposure to chemicals in washing and disinfecting materials, which are being used frequently in recent weeks as a preventive measure against the deadly virus.

The graph in the tweet shows below how number of online searches about loss of sense of smell jumped in recent weeks in Iran