Published time: 15 April 2020
Authors: François Bénézit, Paul Le Turnier, Charles Declerck, Cécile Paillé, Matthieu Revest, Vincent Dubée, Pierre Tattevin
Keywords: Covid-19, hyposmia, diagnosis, hypogeusia
Early and accurate diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is key to the management of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Following its emergence in China in December, 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has spread in the northern hemisphere during the winter season, when other respiratory viruses, including influenza, co-circulate. This epidemiological conjunction complicates clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 because patients often present with influenza-like illness (ILI). Consequently, the definite diagnosis of COVID-19 mostly relies on positive RT-PCR on respiratory samples, although discriminant features have been reported on thoracic CT scan.1 However, access to these diagnostic tests is limited in the context of this large-scale pandemic. Distinctive clinical features would be welcome to better select patients who require investigations. During the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in France, we noticed that many patients reported loss of smell (hyposmia) and taste (hypogeusia). We aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of these symptoms.
Utility of hyposmia and hypogeusia for the diagnosis of COVID-19