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Agony of post-COVID-19 loss of smell can run deep for some. Get today's virus developments.
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Agony of post-COVID-19 loss of smell can run deep for some. Get today's virus developments.

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Virus Outbreak France Deadened Senses

The hand of Dr. Clair Vandersteen wafts a tube of odors under the nose of a blindfolded patient, Gabriella Forgione, during tests in a hospital in Nice, southern France, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, to help determine why she has been unable to smell or taste since she contracted COVID-19 in November 2020. 

Not to be sniffed at: Agony of post-COVID-19 loss of smell

NICE, France (AP) — The doctor slid a miniature camera into the patient’s right nostril, making her whole nose glow red with its bright miniature light.

“Tickles a bit, eh?” he asked as he rummaged around her nasal passages, the discomfort causing tears to well in her eyes and roll down her cheeks.

The patient, Gabriella Forgione, wasn't complaining. The 25-year-old pharmacy worker was happy to be prodded and poked at the hospital in Nice, in southern France, to advance her increasingly pressing quest to recover her sense of smell. Along with her sense of taste, it suddenly vanished when she fell ill with COVID-19 in November, and neither has returned.

Being deprived of the pleasures of food and the scents of things that she loves are proving tough on her body and mind. Shorn of odors both good and bad, Forgione is losing weight and self-confidence. Read more:

Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • With sunset remarks and a national moment of silence, President Joe Biden on Monday confronted head-on the country's once-unimaginable loss — half a million Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic — as he tried to strike a balance between mourning and hope.
  • UK researchers say its COVID-19 vaccination program has caused hospitalizations to plummet
  • Britain to slowly ease coronavirus restrictions but pubs, gyms and hairdressers to stay closed for weeks
  • Russia’s vaccine rollout picks up speed but experts say the campaign is still moving slowly
  • The housing market was among the very few bright spots for the U.S. economy in the year of the lockdown and Home Depot became its supplier, racking up an unprecedented $132 billion in sales for 2020.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest numbers, plus photos from the past year of the pandemic.

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Virus by the numbers

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Photos: In one year, half a million lives lost

Just one year ago, America had no idea. Life in February 2020 still felt normal. Precisely a year later, America is at a horrifying milestone of 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. A look back, in photos:

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