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Man who had COVID-19 says everything tastes like ‘rotten flesh’

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:27 AM CST
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JASPER, Ind. (WFIE/Gray News) – Thousands of people who have had COVID-19 experience a temporary loss of taste and smell. But for some, the virus makes everything they smell or eat disgusting instead.

Ty Hunter tested positive for COVD-19 on Christmas day in 2020 and lost his senses of taste and smell, according to WFIE. They came back in late March, but a few weeks later he said something changed.

Hunter went to Taco Bell and assumed the meat had gone bad in his meal but then noticed the same odd taste the next morning in his coffee.

He said the taste is hard to describe – rotten flesh mixed with chemicals.

“As gross as that sounds, it’s about as close as I can get to it,” Hunter explained. “It’s not a smell that you’ve smelled before.”

Hunter said about 90% of all foods have that taste to him since contracting COVID-19.

WFIE reports Hunter is experiencing a phenomenon called parosmia.

Hunter and his wife found a Facebook group of people going through the same thing after having the virus. They can all sympathize with how difficult this has made his life.

“I know that I’m not speaking alone with people with parosmia. If I could go back and lose my sense of smell and taste, I would do it in a heartbeat,” he explained.

Hunter’s wife has had to step in and help him judge things he can’t tell apart. She’s like his seeing eye dog, but with smells.

He knows from the Facebook group that some people recover in a few weeks, but others have said it took longer. There’s no clear indication to know when, or if, it will go away.

“Hopefully, it’s something that, hopefully one day I’ll wake up and, you know, everything will be normal, but we just don’t know,” Hunter said.

Through the Facebook group, Hunter has learned people with parosmia don’t always think the same things taste bad, and there’s only one drink all of them agree tastes normal: Dr. Pepper.

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