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Experiencing Lack of Smell?: Watch Nose Hair About Anosmia

The American Academy of Otolaryngology has joined ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England to affirm that there is mounting evidence to suggest that “anosmia,” or loss of a sense of smell, is a symptom of COVID-19 infection. According to ENT UK’s statement on the subject, “there is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia. In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia. In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.” Many of the patients presenting with anosmia are otherwise asymptomatic, doctors report. Hence, people with loss of smell are encouraged to self-quarantine as they may be contagious. An accompanying symptom is ageusia, diminished sense of taste.

If you’re wondering what anosmia is, and how it might impact your quality of life, check out Lou Morton’s award-winning, Sloan-supported short film NOSE HAIR. This ten-minute, animated, humorous film follows a young boy with anosmia who learns to use the condition to his advantage.

For more on anosmia, The New York Times has reported on the condition in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOSE HAIR is written by David Guest and directed by Louis Morton. The film received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through its program with University of Southern California. When writing the film, the filmmakers consulted with USC biology professor Dr. Emily Liman on the scientific accuracy of the script. Dr. Liman runs a laboratory which focuses on biological mechanisms, such as olfaction, for interpreting sensory information. NOSE HAIR is available to stream for free any time on Sloan Science & Film, part of our Watch Films library of over 60 Sloan-support narrative shorts featuring scientific themes.