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Olfactory and taste dysfunction among mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19 positive healthcare workers: an international survey

Andrews, PJ; Pendolino, AL; Ottaviano, G; Scarpa, B; Grant, J; Gaudioso, P; Bordin, A; ... Andrews, JA; + view all (2020) Olfactory and taste dysfunction among mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19 positive healthcare workers: an international survey. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology 10.1002/lio2.507. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of olfactory and taste dysfunction (OD; TD) among COVID‐19 positive health care workers (HCWs), their associated risk factors and prognosis. METHODS: Between May and June 2020, a longitudinal multicenter study was conducted on symptomatic COVID‐19 PCR confirmed HCWs (COVID‐19 positive) in London and Padua. RESULTS: Hundred and fourteen COVID‐19 positive HCWs were surveyed with a response rate of 70.6% over a median follow‐up period of 52 days. UK prevalence of OD and TD was 73.1% and 69.2%, respectively. There was a male to female ratio of 1:3 with 81.6% being white, 43.7% being nurses/health care assistants (HCAs), and 39.3% being doctors. In addition, 53.2% of them worked on COVID‐19 wards. Complete recovery was reported in 31.8% for OD and 47.1% for TD with a 52 days follow‐up. The job role of doctors and nurses negatively influenced smell (P = .04 and P = .02) and taste recovery (P = .02 and P = .01). Ethnicity (being white) showed to positively influence only taste recovery (P = .04). Sex (being female) negatively influenced OD and TD recovery only in Paduan HCWs (P = .02 and P = .011, respectively). Working on a COVID‐19 ward did not influence prognosis. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of OD and TD was considerably higher in HCWs. The prognosis for OD and TD recovery was worse for nurses/HCAs and doctors but working on a COVID‐19 ward did not influence prognosis. Sixty‐eight percent of surveyed HCWs at 52 days continued to experience OD or TD requiring additional future medical management capacity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.

Type: Article
Title: Olfactory and taste dysfunction among mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19 positive healthcare workers: an international survey
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/lio2.507
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/lio2.507
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of The Triological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: COVID‐19, olfactory dysfunction, rhinology, smell, survey, taste, taste dysfunction
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117753
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