Study reports patient-reported loss of smell in 86% of mild COVID-19 cases

COVID-19, coronavirus
SARS-CoV-2 (shown here in an electron microscopy image). Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

A reduced sense of smell, or olfactory dysfunction, is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. A recent study published the Journal of Internal Medicine has examined it prevalence and recovery in patients with varying degrees of severity of COVID-19.

In the study of 2,581 patients from 18 European hospitals, the patient-reported prevalence of was 85.9% in mild cases of COVID-19, 4.5% in moderate cases, and 6.9% in severe-to-critical cases. The average duration of olfactory dysfunction reported by patients was 21.6 days, but nearly one-quarter of affected patients reported that they did not recover their 60 days after losing it.

Objective clinical evaluations identified olfactory dysfunction in 54.7% of mild cases of COVID-19 and 36.6% of moderate-to-critical cases of COVID-19. At 60 days and 6 months, 15.3% and 4.7% of these patients did not objectively recover their sense of smell, respectively.

"Olfactory dysfunction is more prevalent in mild COVID-19 forms than in moderate-to-critical forms, and 95% of recover their sense of smell at 6-months post-infection," said lead author Jerome R. Lechien, MD, Ph.D., MS, of Paris Saclay University.


Explore further

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

More information: Journal of Internal Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1111/joim.13209
Journal information: Journal of Internal Medicine

Provided by Wiley
Citation: Study reports patient-reported loss of smell in 86% of mild COVID-19 cases (2021, January 6) retrieved 2 March 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-patient-reported-loss-mild-covid-cases.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.
5 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments