Loss of Smell & Taste Indicates Coronavirus Infection in Women

Anosmia or ageusia disorder may indicate coronavirus infection
woman in blue hat smelling a flower

A new study suggests that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) should be suspected when a severe reduction of taste and smell are present in the absence of nasal obstruction.

This study published in JAMA on June 18, 2020, found that the loss of taste and smell may be common symptoms among those in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.

More than 55 percent of the patients in this survey reported losing their sense of taste.

And around 41 percent lost their sense of smell or both taste and smell in the time between when they first realized they had symptoms and when a lab test confirmed infection.

The first findings of sensory loss associated with COVID-19 disease were published in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, on April 12, 2020.

This study compared to other symptoms of COVID‐19 infection and found the loss of smell and taste showed the largest magnitudes of association with COVID‐19 positivity. 

A multivariable logistic regression adjusting for myalgia/arthralgia, fatigue, fever, nausea, and sore throat demonstrated that both smell and taste impairment independently associated with COVID‐19 positivity.

This study found a significant association between smell/taste loss and COVID‐19 infection because these chemosensory impairments were at least 10‐fold more common in COVID‐19–positive cases.

Furthermore, a study conducted in Korea in May 2020, found the prevalence of smell/taste loss was significantly more common among females and younger individuals. 

And most patients with anosmia or ageusia recovered within 3 weeks. The median time to recovery was 7 days for both symptoms.

In summary, these studies offer support for using smell/taste loss as a symptom for a heightened screening of COVID‐19 infections in an effort to decrease the risk of disease transmission from mildly symptomatic cases.

SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic news published by CoronavirusToday.