COVID Made Food Smell of Cat Urine, Taste Like Hot Bananas for Fox 2 Host Maurielle Lue

A woman with a case of long COVID has described how her condition affects her day-to-day life, from memory loss to an impaired sense of smell and taste.

Maurielle Lue, a host for Fox News outlet Fox 2 Detroit, caught COVID in the spring of this year. The virus led to her being hospitalized, but Lue eventually recovered enough to be discharged.

Since then she has experienced a range of symptoms including what is sometimes referred to as "brain fog," which she finds the hardest to deal with.

She has also experienced changes to her smell and taste. Lue described a bowl of soup as tasting like hot bananas, and a recurring odor that smelled like cat urine.

"I have a cat, so naturally I thought my cat had finally taken her revenge for getting a dog," she wrote in an article for Fox 2 Detroit. "I scurried out of grocery and department stores, dry heaving at the cat smell odor so strong I could taste it."

After around a month, Lue realized that she was the only one who could smell it.

Meanwhile, her memory loss impacted her daily life. She said she has had to use navigation to help her drive to work despite commuting there for nearly a decade, and has struggled to remember important names and dates.

She said she is learning to cope with her "new normal" and that "there is still so much to learn" about long COVID and highlighting the need for support in those who have the condition.

Lue is not alone in reporting changes to her senses of smell and taste as a result of long COVID.

Earlier this month, TikTok user Natalia Cano posted a video describing her difficult battle with COVID symptoms that have left her with a condition known as parosmia—in which one's senses of smell and taste are unpleasantly distorted.

Cano said normal foods now smell and taste like rotting flesh and garbage. In turn, she has suffered from weight loss and a lack of nutrition. "I am not okay, and I haven't been for 10 months, because it's literal torture," she said.

Cano has sought the help of a specialist and is due to undergo an experimental therapy to see if her senses of smell and taste can be improved.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that long COVID—also known as long-haul COVID or post-COVID conditions—is defined as new, returning, or ongoing symptoms that occur four or more weeks after initial infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Symptoms can include fatigue and changes to smell and taste as well as difficulty breathing, difficulty thinking or concentrating—also known as brain fog—muscle pain, sleep problems, and many more, the CDC adds.

Scientists are still working to learn more about the long- and short-term effects associated with COVID-19.

Woman eating
A stock photo shows a woman eating food with an expression of dislike. COVID and long COVID can affect the senses of smell and taste. Motortion/Getty