Taste, smell dysfunction with COVID-19 can be severe

Taste, smell dysfunction with COVID-19 can be severe

(HealthDay)—COVID-19 should be suspected when patients present with a severe reduction of taste and smell in the absence of severe nasal obstruction, according to a study published online June 18 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Giuseppe Mercante, M.D., from Humanitas University in Milan, and colleagues retrospectively surveyed 204 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (March 5 to March 23, 2020; 53.9 percent male; mean age, 52.6 years), who were hospitalized or discharged from a single referral center.

The researchers found that 56.9 percent of patients had a reduction of taste and smell, 55.4 percent had taste reduction, and 41.7 percent had smell reduction. Four in 10 patients reported both. More than one-third had a severe reduction of taste (39.7 percent) or smell (35.3 percent). Severe nasal obstruction was present in a smaller percentage of patients with severe taste reduction (14.8 percent) or severe smell reduction (16.7 percent). Compared with , were more likely to have a severe reduction of taste and smell (odds ratios, 3.16 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.76 to 5.67] and 2.58 [95 percent CI, 1.43 to 4.65], respectively). There was no significant association noted between smoking and a severe reduction of taste (odds ratio, 0.95; 95 percent CI, 0.53 to 1.71) or smell (odds ratio, 0.65; 95 percent CI, 0.35 to 1.21).

"The may play a pivotal role in identifying potential COVID-19 in at an early stage if taste and/or smell alterations manifest and in suggesting quarantine before confirmation or exclusion of the diagnosis," the authors write.

More information: Abstract/Full Text

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Taste, smell dysfunction with COVID-19 can be severe (2020, June 22) retrieved 30 September 2023 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-dysfunction-covid-severe.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


Feedback to editors