New coronavirus symptom to look for as doctors warn hearing loss could be a sign
| July 25th 2020
From a dry cough to a loss of sense of smell, a number of
unpleasant symptoms are known to be associated with coronavirus.
Now, a new study suggests that there’s another symptom to be
aware of - hearing loss.
Researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine have
revealed that the virus can infect not only the nose and throat, but also the
ear and mastoid bone of the skull.
In their study, the researchers analysed three patients who
had died from coronavirus - a man in his 60s, a woman in her 60s and a woman in
Their analysis revealed that the woman in her 80s had the
virus in her right middle ear, while the man in his 60s had the virus in his
left and right middle ears, as well as in his left and right mastoids.
In the study, published in JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg,
the researchers, led by Dr Katilyn Frazier, wrote: “This study confirms the
presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the middle ear and mastoid.”
While the sample size for the study was very small, the
findings indicate that ear issues, including a loss of hearing, could be a sign
The researchers added: “Mastoid and middle ear colonization
with SARS-CoV-2 does not necessarily imply current or future otologic
symptomatology, and known living patients with SARS-CoV-2 ear colonization may
benefit from screening for otologic manifestations.”
The NHS advises: “The main symptoms of coronavirus are: a
high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you
do not need to measure your temperature).
“A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for
more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually
have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
“A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this
means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or
taste different to normal.”
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