How Often do COVID-19 Patients Lose Their Sense of Smell?
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Two international projects are asking ordinary people to rate the scents of household items in order to gather data on one of COVID-19’s more mysterious symptoms: anosmia, the loss of the ability to smell.

Olfaction Researchers, Assemble!

• Danielle Reed, a geneticist and associate director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, does most of her research on the sense of taste.

• They created a GCCR questionnaire available in 28 languages for people who have or recently recovered from upper respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

• Participants were asked to pick four household items from a list and rate the intensity of their odor and taste over time. The goal is to see how the novel coronavirus affects smell and taste and whether these symptoms are specific enough to the condition to be used as diagnostic criteria.

• Neurobiologist Noam Sobel’s laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has developed a similar survey called SmellTracker.

• Like the GCCR questionnaire, SmellTracker asks participants to choose household items like peanut butter, vinegar, and tea and report how strong they smell and how pleasant the odors are.

• By coupling this information with a checklist of flulike symptoms and asking participants to retake the questionnaire every couple of days, the researchers are able to monitor changes in a participant’s sense of smell in relation to other signs of COVID-19.

• Sobel says that on an individual level, tools like SmellTracker help patients manage their own health, but drawing conclusions about the symptom at a broader level will only be possible if the researchers gather large amounts of data.

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Dr. S●●●●●m S●●●●y P●●●●●l General Medicine
Interesting read. Clarity in these matters will impact diagnosis in a very useful way.
Jun 3, 2020Like1