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Video: Scientists Have Identified Two Forms Of Loss Of Smell In COVID-19
Scientists have identified two forms of loss of smell in COVID-19
In a new study, scientists have confirmed that anosmia is an important symptom of COVID-19 in mild to moderate disease. They identified two clinical forms of this disorder. At the same time, the authors did not objectively find loss of smell in a third of patients with a complaint about it.
In about a third of patients with a complaint of loss of smell in COVID-19, scientists were unable to detect its objective signs. Also, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine identified two forms of anosmia in coronavirus infection.
Scientists have found the likely cause of impaired sense of smell in COVID-19
In a study in mice, scientists discovered which cells of the olfactory epithelium the virus can infect.
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Scientists analyzed the medical records of 2013 patients from 18 European countries who were diagnosed with COVID-19 on an outpatient basis between March 22 and April 23, 2020. They interviewed all study participants to gather information on all the symptoms that are considered characteristic of this infection. The authors were interested not only in the presence of symptoms, but also in their severity.
Loss of smell was the most common symptom, with 1,754 patients (87%) complaining of it, and 1,136 (56%) reported loss of taste. Thus, the prevalence of such symptoms in this sample was higher than that shown in other studies.
In most patients, loss of smell developed after the onset of other symptoms. At the time of the survey (the day of discharge or the day of the disappearance of cold symptoms), the sense of smell was restored in 573 out of 1754 patients. 61% of them began to smell again 4-14 days after losing their sense of smell.
Research has shown that loss of smell is not always accompanied by nasal congestion or rhinitis (inflammation in the nasal cavity). Based on this, scientists have identified two forms of anosmia: accompanied and not accompanied by impaired nasal patency.
Scientists tested their sense of smell objectively in 86 study participants who complained of loss of smell. Anosmia (complete absence of smell) or hypoosmia (decreased sense of smell) were identified in more than half of them. Approximately one third showed no objective signs of impairment. The study authors speculate that patient complaints may have been influenced by news reports that anosmia is an important symptom of COVID-19. Loss or decrease in sensitivity to the four main tastes on physical examination was found in 56% of patients.
According to the authors of the study, their work confirms that loss of smell and taste is an important diagnostic symptom of COVID-19 with mild to moderate disease.
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