Persistence of chemosensory deficiencies in patients of COVID-19: our experience

Vivek K. Pathak, Pradeepti Nayak, Rohit Saxena, Rishita Kalra


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS COV-2) infection has caused a global pandemic that has spread like wildfire throughout the world over a very short period of time. Though it may present with a multitude of symptoms mainly respiratory; neurological symptoms like smell and taste disturbances have emerged with greater frequency and sometimes as the only presentation in mild and moderate cases.

Methods: This study was conducted at a tertiary hospital dedicated to COVID care in Northern India. Approval was sought from the Institutional Ethics Committee before the commencement of the study. Appropriate written and informed consent was obtained from all patients before their induction. All confirmed COVID -19 patients, previously documented to have chemosensory deficits of anosmia and dysgeusia over 3 months were followed up by over a period of 8 weeks. Data was collected on the basis of a comprehensive questionnaire telephonically at intervals of 2 weeks and 8 weeks and recorded.

Results: During the period of study, from a sample of 450 patients, a total of 199 patients complained of chemosensory dysfunction out of which 63.8% were males (Figure 1). A total of 145 patients had dysgeusia and 136 had anosmia with a male preponderance of 62% and 63.9% respectively.

Conclusions: Residual post-COVID symptoms last and whether they may permanently affect quality of life further studies are required.


COVID-19, Anosmia, Dysguesia

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