[Loss of smell, a preliminary indicator of COVID-19]

Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2021 Feb 2;59(1):4-6. doi: 10.24875/RMIMSS.M21000046.
[Article in Spanish]


Some reports have been recently published on olfactory loss in people with severe COVID-19. It is suggested to take into consideration the recommendations of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology to include olfactory loss as an early clinical symptom of COVID-19 and consider sudden olfactory loss, as a high index of suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It can be established that the majority of patients with olfactory loss due to COVID-19, present hyposmia and not anosmia. Patients with olfactory loss, who had SARS-CoV-2 infection, should be classified as loss secondary to viral infection.

En fechas recientes se han publicado algunos informes sobre la pérdida olfatoria en personas con COVID-19. Se sugiere tomar en consideración las recomendaciones de la American Academy of Otolaryngology y la British Association of Otorhinolaryngology para agregar la pérdida olfatoria como síntoma clínico temprano de COVID-19, y considerar la pérdida súbita olfatoria como alto índice de sospecha de infección por SARS-CoV-2. Se puede establecer que la mayoría de los pacientes con pérdida olfatoria por COVID-19 presentan hiposmia y no anosmia. Los pacientes con pérdida olfatoria que cursaron con infección por SARS-CoV-2 deben ser clasificados como pérdida secundaria a infección viral.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus Infections; Olfaction Disorders; Smell.

MeSH terms

  • Anosmia / etiology*
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Olfaction Disorders / virology*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Smell / physiology