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Not to be sniffed at: Post-COVID-19 pain of loss of scent

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Not to be sniffed at: Post-COVID-19 pain of loss of scent

Not to be sniffed at: Post-COVID-19 pain of loss of scent

 

The doctor slid a miniature camera into the right nostril of the patient, making her entire nose, with its bright miniature light, glow red.

Tickles a little bit, eh? As he rummaged through her nasal passages, he asked about the pain causing her eyes to tear well and roll her cheeks down.

Gabriella Forgione, the patient, wasn’t complaining. The 25-year-old pharmacy worker was delighted to be prodded and poked at a hospital in southern France’s Nice to advance her increasingly urgent quest to regain her sense of smell. It abruptly disappeared, along with her sense of taste, when she fell ill in November with COVID-19, and none of them returned.

In her body and mind, being deprived of the pleasures of food and the scents of things she loves proves difficult. Shorn of good and bad smells, Forgione is losing weight and self-confidence.

I ask myself occasionally,’ Do I stink?’ ” she admitted. Normally, I wear perfume and I like to smell good stuff. Not being able to smell annoys me greatly.

Doctors and researchers continue to try to better understand and manage the ensuing outbreak of COVID-19-related anosmia, loss of smell, a year after the coronavirus pandemic, draining much of the joy of life from a growing number of sensorially frustrated longer-term sufferers such as Forgione.

Also specialist physicians admit that they really don’t know much about the disease and are learning as they go along with their diagnosis and treatments. With COVID-19, deficiency and smell modification have become so widespread that some researchers propose that simple odour tests in countries with few laboratories may be used to detect coronavirus infections.

Olfactory problems are temporary for most individuals, sometimes resolving in weeks on their own. But a small group, even after other COVID-19 signs have vanished, complain of chronic dysfunction. Six months after infection, some have reported continued complete or partial odour loss. The longest one, some doctors say, is reaching a full year now.

Researchers working on the vexing disability state that they are hopeful that everyone will recover eventually, but others will not be afraid. Some physicians are worried that a rising number of odor-deprived patients, many of them young, may be more vulnerable to depression and other issues and may be weighing on stressed health systems.

“In their lives, they are losing colour,” said Dr. Thomas Hummel, who heads the outpatient smell and taste clinic at the University Hospital in Dresden, Germany.

“Hummel added, “These people will survive and be good in their lives, in their careers. “But their lives are going to be far poorer.”

Dr. Clair Vandersteen wafted tube after tube of odours under Forgione’s nose at the Face and Neck University Institute in Nice after he had rooted around with his camera in her nostrils.

Do you detect some kind of smell? Huh? Nothing? Huh? Zero? All right,’ he asked, as she replied repeatedly and apologetically with negative reactions.

Only the last tube caused an unambiguous reaction.

“Urgh! Urgh! Yeah, that stinks,’ yelped Forgione. Fish! Fish. ”

Test total, delivered his diagnosis by Vandersteen.

“To be able to smell something, you need an enormous amount of odour,” he told her. “You have not lost your sense of smell completely, but it’s not good either.”

He sent her away with homework: an olfactory rehab for six months. Twice a day, he ordered, selecting two or three fragrant items, like a sprig of lavender or jars of fragrances, and smelling them for two or three minutes.

“If there’s anything you smell, fine. No issue if not. Again, try to focus hard on the picture of lavender, a lovely purple bloom,’ he said. “You’ve gotta persevere.”

It can be more than a simple annoyance to lose the sense of smell. Smoke can all pass dangerously unnoticed from a spreading fire, a gas leak, or the stink of rotten food. It is embarrassingly possible to ignore fumes from a used diaper, dog’s dirt on a shoe or sweaty armpits.

And as poets have known for a long time, scents and thoughts are always like entwined lovers.

Evan Cesa was used to enjoying meals. They’re a chore now. A September fish dinner that unexpectedly seemed to be flavourless first flagged the 18-year-old sports student that had assaulted his senses with COVID-19. Foodstuffs have become mere textures, with only sweet and salty residual hints.

Five months later, breakfasting before school on chocolate cookies, Cesa only chewed without pleasure, as if swallowing cardboard.

“Eating has no purpose for me any more,” he said. “This is only a waste of time.”

Cesa is one of the patients with anosmia studied in Nice by researchers who used scents in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease before the pandemic. After a truck terror attack in Nice in 2016, when a driver ploughed through holiday crowds, killing 86 individuals, they have used soothing fragrances to treat post-traumatic stress among children.

The researchers are now turning their expertise to COVID-19, working together with perfumers from the nearby town of Grasse, which produces fragrances. Perfumer Aude Galouye worked on the fragrant waxes that were wafted under Cesa’s nose to measure his olfactory impairment, with scents at varying concentrations.

Galouye said, “The sense of smell is a sense which is forgotten fundamentally.” “Except, obviously, when we no longer have it, we do not realise the impact it has on our lives.”

Language and attention checks are also used in the examinations on Cesa and other patients. The Nice researchers are investigating whether olfactory symptoms are connected to cognitive issues related to COVID, including focusing problems. On one test, Cesa stumbled by using the word “ship” when “kayak” was the obvious choice.

“That’s totally unexpected,” said Magali Payne, the team’s speech therapist. “You should not be experiencing linguistic problems with this young man.”

“We’ve got to continue digging,” she said. “As we see patients, we figure out things.”

To celebrate the taste of pasta in carbonara sauce, his favourite food, and a run through the fragrant wonders of the great outdoors, Cesa yearns to have his senses restored.

“One might think that being able to smell nature, trees, forests is not important,” he said. “But if you lose the sense of smell, you realise how lucky we really are to be able to smell that stuff.”

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Reggie McKenzie for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Reggie McKenzie for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager candidates and 10 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the interview process, we’re looking at each of the prospective hires.

Reggie McKenzie interviewed for the GM opening on Thursday, the team announced.

Reggie McKenzie

Title: Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive

Age: 58

Experience

Before joining the Dolphins in 2019, McKenzie spent seven seasons as the Oakland Raiders general manager. He was named the Sporting News and PFWA executive of the year in 2016 after a 12-4 playoff season that included seven players making the Pro Bowl.

That was the Raiders’ only winning season in his seven as his teams went 40-72.

Among the players he drafted were Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray.

Before joining the Raiders, McKenzie spent 18 years with the Green Bay Packers as a pro personnel assistant, the director of pro personnel and the director of football operations. The Packers won two Super Bowls in that span.

You should know

McKenzie was an NFL linebacker who played 60 games over five seasons with the Raiders and San Francisco 49ers from 1985-92. He played in college at Tennessee.

Chicago connection

In 2014, McKenzie drafted current Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack fifth overall.

In 2018, after coach Jon Gruden was hired and negotiations for an extension soured between the Raiders and Mack, the team traded Mack, a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020 to the Bears. The Raiders received two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick over the next two seasons. The Bears then gave Mack a six-year extension.

Mack was named a Pro Bowler each of his next three seasons with the Bears but missed 10 games this year with injury.

What has been said

Before firing McKenzie in December 2018, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke to ESPN about the Raiders’ roster issues.

“It’s been all part of an evolution, but I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to Jon (Gurden), as well, that the talent is just not here at this time,” Davis said. “The drafts did not help supplement what we were doing in the free-agent market. If you look at our roster now, it’s a bunch of free-agent, one-year guys that are mercenaries. And they’re great guys, and they’re Raiders. Once a Raider, always a Raider … but we just don’t have the overall talent of a 22-man roster.”

Before the Raiders hired McKenzie in 2012, former Packers executive Ron Wolf told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “Reggie’s a tremendous evaluator. He can tell you who can play and who can’t play. That’s what it’s all about. Some can write reports but can’t tell you who can play. Whatever that is, he has that. He has a feel.”

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Byron Leftwich for their coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Byron Leftwich for their coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager and 10 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospective hires.

Byron Leftwich interviewed for the coach opening Thursday, the team announced.

Byron Leftwich

Title: Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator

Age: 42.

Experience

Leftwich has been the Bucs offensive coordinator under coach Bruce Arians for three seasons, including during the 2020 run to the Super Bowl LV victory in Tom Brady’s first season in Tampa, Fla..

In Leftwich’s first season with the Bucs calling plays in 2019, he directed the top-ranked passing offense in yards per game as Jameis Winston threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. The Bucs passing offense the last two seasons with Brady has ranked second and first in the NFL, respectively.

Leftwich started his career with Arians and the Arizona Cardinals as an intern in 2016 before he became the quarterbacks coach in 2017 and offensive coordinator in 2018.

You should know

Leftwich started 50 games and played in 60 over nine seasons as a quarterback with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and Bucs. He threw for 10,532 yards 58 touchdown passes, 42 interceptions and 78.9 passer rating in his career. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in his senior season at Marshall.

Chicago connection

As a player, Leftwich played only one game against the Bears — a 22-3 Jaguars victory in 2004. Leftwich threw for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to Nathan Vasher.

What’s been said

Arians was upset Leftwich didn’t get a head coaching interview last year at this time.

“He’s everything everybody is supposedly looking for — a quarterback, a playcaller and he’s African-American, so I mean, I don’t know what else you’re looking for,” Arians said before the Super Bowl. “He’s a great leader.

“I was very, very pissed that Byron didn’t at least get an interview this year for the job that he has done. I get way too much credit, and so does Tom Brady, for the job Byron has done.”

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Scratcher worth $1 million sold at Missouri grocery store

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Scratcher worth $1 million sold at Missouri grocery store

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Someone won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off lottery ticket bought at a Missouri grocery store.

The person won the prize playing the “$300 Million Cash Explosion” game. The ticket, which costs $30, was purchased at the Price Chopper on Sterling Avenue in Independence.

It’s the ninth $1 million prize claimed on “$300 Million Cash Explosion” since the ticket became available in 2018.

More than $94.4 million in prizes remain unclaimed in the game, including one $10 million top prize, three other $1 million prizes, and six prizes of $50,000.

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