Smell and taste disorders in Spanish patients with mild COVID-19.Neurologia. 2020 Nov - Dec; 35(9):633-638.N
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly throughout the world. Smell and/or taste disorders have emerged as a very frequent symptom as the disease has spread in Europe. Spain is one of the European countries with the highest number of infections.
This study aimed to investigate the clinical progression of smell and taste disorders in Spanish patients with mild COVID-19.
An online survey was used to conduct a cross-sectional study of patients who presented sudden smell and/or taste disorders during the 2 months of total lockdown due to COVID-19 in Spain.
In our sample, 91.18% of respondents with impaired smell and/or taste and who were able to undergo PCR testing were positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Anosmia and ageusia presented in isolation in 6.5% of participants. The remaining 93.5% presented other mild symptoms: headache (51.6%), cough (51.6%), myalgia (45.2%), asthaenia (38.7%), nasal congestion or rhinorrhoea (35.5%), fever (41.9%), low-grade fever (29.0%), odynophagia (25.8%), or diarrhoea (6.5%). The mean duration of anosmia was 8.33 days, with patients subsequently manifesting hyposmia; complete resolution occurred after a mean of 17.79 days. In 22.6% of respondents, olfactory deficits persisted. All participants recovered their sense of taste.
Olfactory and gustatory disorders are prevalent symptoms in mild COVID-19. Most patients do not present associated nasal congestion or rhinorrhoea and a small group of patients present these alterations in isolation.