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Norway - 79 People Lose Taste and Smell After H1N1 Vaccine

Posted by ObeMike Tuesday, December 15, 2009


79 have lost their ability to taste or smell after taking the H1N1 swine flu vaccine in Norway.

Silje Marie Vatvik lost both taste and smell after taking the vaccine against swine flu. She has been sick for several weeks.

"People do not understand what it means to have taste and odor. I do not taste the food and can therefore do not want to swallow it. It inhibits me socially because I can attend dinner functions, " says Silje Marie Vatvik.

The 30-year-old who lives in Longyearbyen, was one of the first to receive the vaccine against swine flu. She worked in the department responsible for preparedness initiatives at the airport and was expected by her employer to be vaccined the same day first vaccines arrived on October 21.

"Had I not been expected to take the vaccine, I would have at least had the option, and the first thing I asked about were the side effects,", said Vatvik.

Vatvik was not prepared for what was to come after the vaccination, losing both her ability to taste and smell. She has not recovered these senses since taking the vaccine. The hospital administered many tests but the 30-year old has not responded to any of them.

"They kept all options open since it could have been a coincidence and nothing to do with the vaccine. But it was ultimately the one cause that remained," she says.

Vatvik is on sick leave indefinitely due to the illness. "I think about food all the time, have little energy and I'm irritable because I have low blood sugar," she says.

"There has been much talk about the vaccine not being tested, but it has been accepted in other countries before Norway. I know that foreign websites have been written about the loss of smell and taste associated with the vaccine, so it is strange that they were not more informed about it," said Vatvik.

When she went to the hospital, no one had heard of any similar cases. Now 79 people are suffering the same side effects notes the Norwegian Medicines Agency. They have no explanation for why some have lost their taste and smell after flu vaccine.

"It was unknown to us in advance that the loss of taste and sense of smell could be a side effect," said a spokesman from the Norwegian Medicines Agency, Steinar Madsen.

Madsen could not address why some patients suffer from the side effect. "We have no explanation for why it happens. We can not say for sure whether it has a relationship with the vaccine. There are other explanations, like that you get a viral infection while taking the vaccine," says Madsen.

When asked how long the patients it will take patients to recover, Madsen said, "I can not answer. I have talked to one patient who told me that she was well again after a couple of weeks."

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  1. Anne Says:
  2. I had H1N1 during which time I believe I lost most of my taste/smell senses. A mild cold in January knocked out my smell/taste completely for a month. I've recovered about 20% of my taste/smell senses and seem to have plateaued. I suspect H1N1 virus killed off the nerve endings for these senses. It's very difficult to have a healthy relationship with food without these senses.

  3. Mike Rojas Says:
  4. I recieved the H1N1 vaccine in Feburary and since have had very limited senses of taste and smell. I have also been suffering with allergy like symptoms ever since.

  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. I have completely loss my sense of smell and my taste has reduced considerably since I had a flu jab in Jan 2011 it is now dec 2011 and I have still not recovered
    I wonder if there are a larger number of people who have had his problem as a search on Google shows more and more similar cases slowly emerging. Could there be a possible larger problem immerging with the flu jab affecting people in adverse ways, especially loss of smell/taste?

  7. Anonymous Says:
  8. I had a flu vaccination as did my sister and father. all of us lost our sense of smell and taste. Four years on I have limited taste and smell ,the first sense of smell was diesel at the service station filling up the car. My father ,90 years of age, still has no sense of smell ,but my sisters taste is normal now


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