COVID-19 Anosmia Reporting Tool: Initial Findings

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Jul;163(1):132-134. doi: 10.1177/0194599820922992. Epub 2020 Apr 28.


There is accumulating anecdotal evidence that anosmia and dysgeusia are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To investigate their relationship to SARS-CoV2 infection, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery developed the COVID-19 Anosmia Reporting Tool for Clinicians for the basis of this pilot study. This tool allows health care providers to confidentially submit cases of anosmia and dysgeusia related to COVID-19. We analyzed the first 237 entries, which revealed that anosmia was noted in 73% of patients prior to COVID-19 diagnosis and was the initial symptom in 26.6%. Some improvement was noted in 27% of patients, with a mean time to improvement of 7.2 days in this group (85% of this group improved within 10 days). Our findings suggest that anomia can be a presenting symptom of COVID-19, consistent with other emerging international reports. Anosmia may be critical in timely identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV2 who may be unwittingly transmitting the virus.

Keywords: COVID-19; anosmia; coronavirus; dysgeusia; smell; taste.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Olfaction Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Otolaryngology / standards*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Smell