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Six month follow-up of self-reported loss of smell during the COVID-19 pandemic

Volume: 59 - Issue: 1

First page: 26 - Last page: 31

C. Hopkins - P. Surda - L.A. Vaira - J.R. Lechien - M. Safarian - S. Saussez - N. Kumar

INTRODUCTION: Loss of smell and taste is now recognised as amongst the most common symptoms of COVID-19 and the best predictor of COVID-19 positivity. Long term outcomes are unknown. This study aims to investigate recovery of loss of smell and the prevalence of parosmia.
METHODOLOGY: 6-month follow-up of respondents to an online surgery who self-reported loss of smell at the onset of the CO- VID-19 pandemic in the UK. Information of additional symptoms, recovery of loss of smell and the development of parosmia was collected.
RESULTS: 44% of respondents reported at least one other ongoing symptom at 6 months, of which fatigue (n=106) was the most prevalent. There was a significant improvement in self-rating of severity of olfactory loss where 177 patients stated they had a normal smell of smell while 12 patients reported complete loss of smell. The prevalence of parosmia is 43.1% with median interval of 2.5 months (range 0-6) from the onset of loss of smell.
CONCLUSIONS: While many patients recover quickly, some experience long-term deficits with no self-reported improvement at 6 months. Furthermore, there is a high prevalence of parosmia even in those who report at least some recovery of olfactory func- tion. Longer term evaluation of recovery is required.

Rhinology 59-1: 26-31, 2021

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