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14.10.2020 | COVID-19 | Original Article Zur Zeit gratis

Testing Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunctions among Quarantine COVID-19 Suspects

Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery
Vijay Bidkar, Meena Mishra, Kalaiselvi Selvaraj, Prashant Joshi, Shrikrishna B H, Sandeep Dabhekar, Kiran Kumar Prathipati, Bharat Singh Rathod, Pooja Shendre, Prakash Gondode
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned on specific respiratory symptoms for suspecting an individual of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Meanwhile, many suspects are reporting dysfunctions of smell and taste. This study aimed to investigate the percentage of positive COVID-19 who had associated loss of sensation as detected by psychophysical testing. Eight hundred and thirty two suspects were enrolled. At the time of sampling for testing COVID-19 status, olfactory dysfunction (OD) and gustatory dysfunction (GD) tested using odorants like coffee and camphor and solutions of sweet and salty solvants, respectively. The strength of the association between test results of these sensory losses and COVID-19 positivity was assessed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. The responses in positive and negative individuals presented as age-adjusted odds ratio with 95% CI. Seventy six (9.1%) [95% CI: 7.4%–11.3%] of 832 suspects were tested positive for COVID-19. Paediatric cases of age between 2 and 10 years could not reply appropriately, hence OD in 134 and GD in 118 could not be tested. Anosmia or hyposmia was present in 62 (81.6%) and ageusia in 64 (84.2%) of the total 76 confirmed cases. The OD and GD dysfunctions were significantly higher among confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to negative subjects [Adj OR (95% CI): Smell 3.22 (1.77–5.88); taste 3.05 (1.61–5.76), p < 0.001]. In this study, testing of smell and taste dysfunctions had higher sensitivity in identifying recent-onset loss of sensations in COVID-19 cases. Hence, it may be used as a simple and cost-effective screening test.

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