The final results of the work will be presented in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
Johannes Frasnelli, from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (Canada) and one of the authors of this study, recalls that, although the COVI-19 It is a new disease, previous research had already confirmed that many of the infected people lose their sense of smell and taste in the early stages of it.
As explained by the scientist in anNewsletter of the American Academy of Neurology, the objective of this new work has been to go further and observe how long this loss of smell and taste persists, and how serious it is.
To this end, the research involved 813 health workers who tested positive for COVID-19; each person completed a questionnaire and then took a home test to assess his sense of taste and smell an average of five months after diagnosis.
Patients rated their senses of taste and smell On a scale of 0 to 10: 0 meant they had no sense at all and 10 signified a strong sense of taste or smell.
A total of 580 people lost the sense of smell during the initial illness. Of this group, 297 participants (51%) said that they still had not regained their sense of smell five months later.
On average, people rated their sense of smell 7 out of 10 after illness, compared to 9 out of 10 before illness.
A total of 527 participants lost the sense of taste during the initial illness; of this group, 200 people (38%) said that they still had not regained their sense of taste five months later.
On average, people rated their sense of taste 8 out of 10 after illness, compared to 9 out of 10 before becoming ill.
“Our results show that a sense of smell and taste impaired may persist in a number of people with COVID-19“, detalla Frasnelli.
For this researcher, this underscores the importance of monitoring infected people and the need for further research to discover the extent of the neurological problems associated with the disease.
The researchers acknowledge some limitations of this study, including the subjective nature of the odor and taste ratings.
(With information from EFE)
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