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Weekly Health Digest: Smell & COVID-19, Smell & Parkinson’s, How Soap Works, Social Distancing

Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash

A summary of important health news from the past week

Doctors say loss of sense of smell might be COVID-19 symptom

By: Jacqueline Howard

Patients around the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 without showing the usual symptoms but experiencing a loss in sense of smell – known as anosmia– and taste. Thus, doctors around the United States have stated that the loss of smell and taste may be symptoms of COVID-19 and could be used to identify people with COVID-19 infections. Some patients in countries with larger outbreaks such as China and Italy have also developed anosmia. “Overall, “I think we’re getting a little bit more insight into the types of symptoms that patients might have,” CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said on New Day on Monday morning.”


Her Incredible Sense Of Smell Is Helping Scientists Find New Ways To Diagnose Disease

By: Alix Speigel

When Joy Milne’s husband, Les, came home from the hospital smelling differently, she thought it was odd, but not important. She later found out that this smell was associated with his Parkinson’s. And she had picked it up over a decade before he was diagnosed. Once this unusual skill was discovered, Joy teamed up with scientists to test it, with extraordinary results!

Why Soap Works

By: Ferris Jabr

Washing hands with soap and warm water is one of the most important bedrocks of public health. Soap has the power to trap dirt, destroy viruses, and wash dangerous pathogens down the drain. No one knows quite how soap was discovered, but it’s possible that it began as a cleansing lather made of fat and ash from animal sacrifices. But the disease-fighting properties of soap are a much more recent discovery.


What are the rules of social distancing? We asked an expert.

By: Laura Bult and Danush Parvaneh

The best weapon to fight against COVID-19 is social distancing. According to social epidemiologist Carolyn Cannuscio, extreme social distancing measures, such as the early closure of schools, have been paramount in slowing the spread of COVID-19. She believes that many Americans still haven’t accepted the necessary measures that need to be taken against COVID-19. Many have not heeded the warnings and are still going to beaches, attending gyms, and even traveling. And while it may be difficult to accept such drastic changes in our lifestyle,  there are creative solutions to be socially engaged without face-to-face contact.