The loss of taste and smell is a symptom “predominant” of the COVID-19, more than fever or shortness of breath, concludes a study in quebec led by Dr Alex Carignan.
If the loss of taste or smell was already associated with the new coronavirus, the result of the work carried out by the CIUSSS of the eastern Townships – CHUS and the Université de Sherbrooke has held that this symptom is a warning signal of the disease.
“The association is very strong. It is the same, I would tell you, the main symptom in our patients, beyond the fever and breathing difficulties, ” said Dr. Carignan, the head of the research team leading this new study, which has been the subject of an article in the journal of the canadian medical Association, Wednesday.
Two-thirds of the 134 people whose tests were positive to the COVID-19 who took part in this study claimed to have had a loss “very sudden and very severe” to the smell and/or taste.
“They had no sense of any odors when enough features or strong, who may find themselves in their environment, such as coffee, perfumes, the smell of smoke. It is very strong, very specific, ” said Dr. Carignan.
Others have reported a decrease or an alteration in the taste. “People would say, for example, that beer never tasted the same any more, they no longer wanted the drink,” says the microbiologist-infectiologist.
Test two times
This study therefore reinforces the need for people who have a loss of taste or smell to go and get tested and to isolate it in the waiting for the results, according to Dr. Carignan.
“And beyond that, the association is so strong that if the test is negative, physicians should test again, maybe 48 or 72 hours later to make sure of the diagnosis,” he argues.
What is the period ?
The research team led by Dr. Carignan dream now to perform a follow-up study, to determine the duration of this symptom in patients who took part in these early works.
Already, research suggests that the loss of taste and smell would be reversible and would last on average two weeks.