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COVID-19 : Coronavirus could infect the brain through the nose

The pandemic is still dangerous, do not fall into caution fatigue 2:23

. – The coronavirus can invade the brain through nerve cells in the nose, German researchers reported Monday.

Autopsy results on 33 people who died of coronavirus showed the virus in the brain and in the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat where it connects to the nasal cavity. The researchers found high concentrations of the virus in the tissue associated with smell (the olfactory mucosa).

Coronavirus in the brain: why it matters

The findings may help explain some of the neurological symptoms of coronavirus infection, in particular the loss of smell that so many people experience, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

They could also help explain symptoms like headache, fatigue, vomiting and nausea, according to Frank Heppner of the Berlin Health Institute.

How does the study was realized

The researchers took tissue samples from the patients and used images to view the virus’s RNA. They found evidence that the virus travels along the nerves from the cells that line the throat and sinuses to the brain.

“Lower levels of viral RNA were found in the cornea, conjunctiva (eyes) and oral mucosa, highlighting the oral and ophthalmic pathways as additional potential sites of entry to the central nervous system for SARS-CoV-2,” they wrote.

It’s not a surprise

Researchers have suspected that the coronavirus enters the central nervous system in this way. Other viruses do too, including the flu.

The German study is unique in that images were used to catch the virus in the act.