anosmia and dysgeusia are symptoms of COVID-19

Self-reported Anosmia and Dysgeusia as Key Symptoms of COVID-19

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This month CanadiEM is featuring an article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine that looks at the signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Due to both the novelty of COVID-19, and its similarity with other viral infections, it can be difficult to distinguish for frontline physicians.​1​

This cross-sectional study​2​ was performed to evaluate the self-reported symptoms among adults who underwent COVID-19 tests at an ambulatory assessment centre.

The results are highlighted in our visual abstract. There were 1,345 patient respondents between March 16 and April 15, 2020. Fifty percent of positive patients and seventy-two percent of negative patients completed the survey. Anosmia/hyposmia and dysgeusia/ageusia were more prevalent amongst COVID-19 positive patients (41.1 v. 4.2%, p<0.001 for smell and 46.4% v. 5.6%, p<0.001 for taste). Anosmia/hyposmia and dysgeusia/ageusia were independently highly associated with COVID-19 positivity (adjusted odds ratios 14.4 and 11.4 for smell and taste, respectively).

Overall, this Canadian study demonstrates that anosmia and dysgeusia are key symptoms of COVID-19. This evidence can be helpful in the clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 and can provide additional value in settings of limited testing capacity. Click here to read the full article. Check out our last CJEM infographic here.

  1. 1.
    Gandhi RT, Lynch JB, del Rio C. Mild or Moderate Covid-19. Solomon CG, ed. N Engl J Med. Published online October 29, 2020:1757-1766. doi:10.1056/nejmcp2009249
  2. 2.
    Lee DJ, Lockwood J, Das P, Wang R, Grinspun E, Lee JM. Self-reported anosmia and dysgeusia as key symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019. CJEM. Published online June 8, 2020:595-602. doi:10.1017/cem.2020.420

Samuel Wilson

Sam is a fourth-year medical student from the University of Ottawa. He is a CanadiEM Infographic editor interested in EM, PoCUS, medical teaching, and exploring the outdoors.
- 2 years ago

Simon Huang

Simon Huang is a PGY1 FRCP-EM resident at Dalhousie University. He is the Associate Social Media Editor for CJEM and is involved with infographic creation for the CanadiEM website.
- 3 years ago