Smell and taste disorders during COVID-19 outbreak: a
cross-sectional study on 355 patients.
Background: As reported by increasing literature, a significant number of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection developed smell/taste disorders.
Aim of this study is to determine prevalence and severity of these symptoms among laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients. Secondary objective is to determine their onset/recovery time.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from March 10th to March 30th 2020 at Novara University Hospital during the COVID-19 Italian outbreak. The 355 enrolled patients answered a questionnaire at 14th (or more) days after proven infection.
Results: The overall population prevalence of both smell/taste or one of the two disorders was 70%. They were first symptoms in 31 (8,7%) patients.
Most patients reported a complete loss that in half of the cases (49.5%) was fully recovered after 14 days, with a median recovery time of 10 days.
Conclusion: This study confirms high prevalence of smell/taste disorders in COVID-19 infection with self-recovery for half cases after about two weeks.