Loss of Taste and Smell are Common Clinical Characteristics of Patients with COVID-19 in Somalia: A Retrospective Double Centre Study.Infect Drug Resist. 2020; 13:2631-2635.ID
The purpose of this study was to identify the common clinical presentations and the evidence on the presence of ageusia and anosmia as an emerging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptom to better inform in both COVID-19 patients and clinicians.
Patients and Methods
As part of a double-institutional collaboration coordinated by doctors, this study retrospectively collected and analyzed the clinical characteristics of 60 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia between April 1 and April 20, 2020. Pregnant women and patients taking anti-cancer drugs had been excluded from the study. Data from each institution's electronic medical record had been obtained.
Sixty patients who had RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 were included in this study; of these patients, all of them had unknown exposure to COVID-19. The mean (SD) age was 45.7 (13.5) years, and 42 were men (70%). Of these patients, 80% had at least ageusia or anosmia. The most common symptoms at the onset of illness were cough (75%), fever (71.3%), myalgia or fatigue (53.3%), anosmia (loss of smell) (40%), ageusia (loss of taste) (28.3%), sore throat (25%), shortness of breath (16.7%), headache (16.7%), and GI symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and loss appetite) (16.7%). A total of 68.3% of COVID-19 infected patients had reported either loss of taste or smell, and about 33.3% of them had only loss of smell, while 23.3% of them had impaired taste, and 11.7% of COVID-19 infected patients had both taste and smell loss.
During the epidemic period of SARS-CoV-2 infection, when presenting patients with ageusia and anosmia, physicians should consider COVID-19 pneumonia as a differential diagnosis to achieve early identification, avoid the delayed diagnosis, and prevention of transmission.