Covid-19: Study reveals loss of smell in 86% of mild cases

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 07, 2021

Average duration of olfactory dysfunction was 21.6 days; nearly a quarter of patients didn’t regain sense of smell 60 days after losing it

A new study has reported that the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was found mostly in mild cases of Covid-19.

For the study, the researchers examined 2,581 patients from 18 European hospitals.

The study revealed that the patient-reported prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was 85.9 per cent in mild cases of Covid-19, 4.5 per cent in moderate cases, and 6.9 per cent in severe-to-critical cases.

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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 sense of smell 60 days after losing it.

Objective clinical evaluations identified olfactory dysfunction in 54.7 per cent of mild cases of Covid-19 and 36.6 per cent of moderate-to-critical cases of Covid-19.

At 60 days and six months, 15.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent 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 per cent of patients recover their sense of smell at six months post-infection,” said lead author Jerome R Lechien of Paris Saclay University.

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The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Meanwhile, many studies have reported that the loss of sense of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia) were consistent and strongest predictors of Covid-19 infection.

Published on January 07, 2021

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