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Olfactory Dysfunction: A Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 07; 163(1):12-15.OH

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic affecting millions of individuals, killing hundreds of thousands. Although typically described with characteristic symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, greater understanding of COVID-19 has revealed myriad clinical manifestations. Olfactory dysfunction (OD)-hyposmia and anosmia-has recently been recognized as an important symptom of COVID-19 and increasingly gained traction as a public health tool for identifying COVID-19 patients, in particular otherwise asymptomatic carriers who, unawares, may be major drivers of disease spread. The objective of this study is to review the scientific evidence about anosmia in COVID-19.

DATA SOURCES

PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science.

REVIEW METHODS

Comprehensive literature search of primary studies pertinent to the objectives of this review using the chosen data sources.

CONCLUSIONS

Current evidence shows that OD is highly prevalent in COVID-19, with up to 80% of patients reporting subjective OD and objective olfactory testing potentially showing even higher prevalence. OD is frequently accompanied by taste dysfunction. Up to 25% of COVID-19 patients may experience sudden-onset OD as the first symptom. A large proportion of COVID-19 OD cases may resolve over the period of a few weeks.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE

Sudden anosmia should be considered a symptom of COVID-19. Assessing for sudden-onset anosmia may increase sensitivity of COVID-19 screening strategies, in particular for identifying patients at the earliest stages of disease. Since many cases of OD due to COVID-19 may resolve in the short term, conservative management, including observation, is reasonable, while advanced imaging is unnecessary.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.Klinik für Hals-, Nasen-, Ohren- Krankheiten, Hals-und Gesichtschirurgie, Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32366160

Citation

Sedaghat, Ahmad R., et al. "Olfactory Dysfunction: a Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance." Otolaryngology--head and Neck Surgery : Official Journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, vol. 163, no. 1, 2020, pp. 12-15.
Sedaghat AR, Gengler I, Speth MM. Olfactory Dysfunction: A Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;163(1):12-15.
Sedaghat, A. R., Gengler, I., & Speth, M. M. (2020). Olfactory Dysfunction: A Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance. Otolaryngology--head and Neck Surgery : Official Journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 163(1), 12-15. https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599820926464
Sedaghat AR, Gengler I, Speth MM. Olfactory Dysfunction: a Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;163(1):12-15. PubMed PMID: 32366160.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Olfactory Dysfunction: A Highly Prevalent Symptom of COVID-19 With Public Health Significance. AU - Sedaghat,Ahmad R, AU - Gengler,Isabelle, AU - Speth,Marlene M, Y1 - 2020/05/05/ PY - 2020/5/6/pubmed PY - 2020/7/16/medline PY - 2020/5/6/entrez KW - COVID-19 KW - SARS-CoV-2 KW - anosmia KW - coronavirus KW - hyposmia KW - olfaction KW - olfactory dysfunction KW - olfactory function KW - smell SP - 12 EP - 15 JF - Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery JO - Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg VL - 163 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic affecting millions of individuals, killing hundreds of thousands. Although typically described with characteristic symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, greater understanding of COVID-19 has revealed myriad clinical manifestations. Olfactory dysfunction (OD)-hyposmia and anosmia-has recently been recognized as an important symptom of COVID-19 and increasingly gained traction as a public health tool for identifying COVID-19 patients, in particular otherwise asymptomatic carriers who, unawares, may be major drivers of disease spread. The objective of this study is to review the scientific evidence about anosmia in COVID-19. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science. REVIEW METHODS: Comprehensive literature search of primary studies pertinent to the objectives of this review using the chosen data sources. CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence shows that OD is highly prevalent in COVID-19, with up to 80% of patients reporting subjective OD and objective olfactory testing potentially showing even higher prevalence. OD is frequently accompanied by taste dysfunction. Up to 25% of COVID-19 patients may experience sudden-onset OD as the first symptom. A large proportion of COVID-19 OD cases may resolve over the period of a few weeks. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Sudden anosmia should be considered a symptom of COVID-19. Assessing for sudden-onset anosmia may increase sensitivity of COVID-19 screening strategies, in particular for identifying patients at the earliest stages of disease. Since many cases of OD due to COVID-19 may resolve in the short term, conservative management, including observation, is reasonable, while advanced imaging is unnecessary. SN - 1097-6817 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32366160/Olfactory_Dysfunction:_A_Highly_Prevalent_Symptom_of_COVID_19_With_Public_Health_Significance_ L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0194599820926464?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -