Want to Smell the Roses? Then Avoid the Flu – Leah Durant

When you’re down with the flu, you can’t smell anything. Turns out, that could be the case even after you recover.

A recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association has concluded that the flu may be a contributing factor to people losing their sense of smell.

Scientists have long recognized that the common cold and other sicknesses can cause a person to lose the ability to smell. But there are around 200 other viruses that lead to a respiratory infection that can also do the same.

Losing the sense of smell is a serious problem. While people consider smell less important than vision or hearing, research suggests that it’s vital to daily life. For example, around 80 percent of taste is linked to smell. The result may be a loss of interest in food.

“This can (and often does) lead to deep depression and a drastic reduction in quality of life,” noted Dr. Zara Patel, one of the researchers who worked on the study.

The loss of smell doesn’t last forever. The study found that on average, people couldn’t smell for about 19 months.

People might look to flu vaccines to avoid the disease — and all its lingering side effects. But the flu shot — like every vaccination — can pose serious side effects of its own.

For example, one possible negative reaction is Guillain-Barré Syndrome. GBS is an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks its nerves. Patients suffering from GBS often have trouble with basic motor functions, including chewing, swallowing, or even walking. In rare cases, GBS can lead to paralysis.

GBS is rare and often temporary. Recovery usually begins two to four weeks after the feelings of weakness plateau. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, GBS affects one person in every 100,000.

Fortunately, people who suffer from GBS — or any other vaccine-related injury — can find help through the federal government.

In 1988, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Known informally as the VICP, the program helps to financially compensate anyone injured by injuries.

The system is accomplishing its mission. Last year, the VICP paid an average reward of $500,000.

The VICP covers numerous vaccines. For the most up-to-date list, visit the vaccine injury compensation table on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Both the flu and the flu shot have side effects. Folks who have been injured by the latter can find help through the VICP.


If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccination, please contact an attorney today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.

Categories: Flu Vaccine, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Vaccine News

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