CMAAO Coronavirus Facts And Myth Buster: Persistent olfactory changes |
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CMAAO Coronavirus Facts And Myth Buster: Persistent olfactory changes
Dr KK Aggarwal,  25 February 2021
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With input from DrMonica Vasudev


1399: Sense ofsmell can be altered for 5 months or more in COVID: Canadian study


·       Around one in five healthcare workers withaltered sense of smell at the time of COVID-19 infection had persistentolfactory changes 150 days later, reported researchers from the University ofQuebec at Trois-Rivieres in a preliminary report released before the AmericanAcademy of Neurology annual meeting.

·        The study included 813 healthcareworkers with confirmed COVID-19 who completed online questionnaires and homechemosensory tests an average of 5 months following diagnosis. Around 84% ofthe participants were women.

·       Majority of the patients had mild symptoms.

·       The questionnaires looked at 64 items includingolfactory, gustatory, and trigeminal impairments.

·       Senses were rated by patients on a scalefrom 0 to 10; 0 represented no perception of taste or smell, while 10 signifiedvery strong perception.

·        Part of the home chemosensory test includedsmelling or tasting common household things like peanut butter, jam, vinegar,or coffee.

·        Smell and taste were assessed at thepost-COVID period. Pre-COVID and acute COVID senses were reported retrospectivelyby the patients.

·        Average self-reported smell ratingswere 8.98 prior to COVID-19 infection, 2.85 during acute COVID, and 7.41 at thetime of answering the questionnaire. The figures were 9.20, 3.59, and 8.05,respectively, for taste.

·        Overall, 580 participants stated that theirsense of smell was compromised during acute phase. Nearly 51.2% mentioned that theirolfactory functions were not retrieved at the time of testing. In homechemosensory tests, 18.4% of the respondents exhibited persistent loss ofsmell.

(Source: Medpage Today)


Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past NationalPresident IMA

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