PRESS TRUST (ll: INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 20: Loss of smell may be the best predictor of COVID-19 among patients with symptoms of respiratory dis-eases, according to new research. The findings of two new in-ternational studies, published in the journal Chemical Senses,
show that there is frequent loss of smell in COVID-19 patients which often lasts for a long time. Over 4,500 COVID-19 patients from a total of 23 nationalities re-sponded to the researchers’ ques-tionnaire.
The studies found that the av-erage loss of the sense of smell was 79.7 on a scale from 0100, in-dicating a large to complete sen-sory loss. “This emphasises how important it is to be aware of this symptom, as it may be the 10 .
only symptom of the disease,” said Alexander Wink Fjaeldstad from Aarhus University in Denmark. The research found that only around half of patients witha loss of smell got their sense of smell back after forty days. “This dif-fers from the picture we see with other viral infections and causes long-term discomfort for patients,
both in relation to food and social contact, while at the same time causing them worry” Fjaeldstad said. The researchers also found that the sense of taste was also significantly reduced, to 69.0 on a scale from 0-100, adding the re-maining sense of feeling in the mouth was also reduced to 37.3 on a scale from 0-140.
The study is of interest both to patients suffering sensory loss as well as clinicians and re-searchers who work with diag-nostics and following-up on COVID-19, the researchers said. Previously, researchers have based the correlation between COVID-19 and the loss of the chemical senses on smaller stud-ies,. The new studies collected large amounts of data from coun-tries all over the world.