To better understand why the corona virus leads to loss of both the senses of smell and taste in some patients, scientists from 38 countries have launched an international survey that can be completed online.
The symptoms of Covid-19 seem to be never-ending. The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, fatigue and dry cough. Some patients suffer from pain, nasal congestion, rhinitis, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and appear gradually. As if that were not enough, a few weeks ago scientists reported two new symptoms: loss of smell and taste, scientifically called anosmia and ageusia. To better understand their relationship to the virus, 500 scientists from 38 countries began an international survey of patients and ex-patients.
Using a quick Internet survey, the researchers want to determine the frequency of these symptoms during the Covid 19 epidemic, the age and sex of those affected and what the long term effects are.
In response to the anecdotal reports of loss of smell and taste in people who have tested positive for the Covid-19 test, an international group of scientists specializing in smell and taste has gathered to investigate how, when and why this happens and what it can tell us about the coronavirus. This integrative group, called the Global Consortium of Sensory Chemistry Researchers (GCCR), is made up of open-minded scientists: transdisciplinary scientists, clinicians and patient representatives from all over the world,” the scientists explain on their website.
“Because the systems of smell and taste are combined, as are the symptoms of loss of these senses. However, the loss of smell after a virus, such as a cold, affects usually more people, while the loss of taste occurs much less frequently. The GCCR would like to know whether the loss of smell is a common symptom of coronavirus and whether it is associated with loss of taste”. All patients who have been diagnosed with the virus and who believe they have suffered from these symptoms can participate in the study.
The questionnaire, which is available in several languages, takes no longer than 15 minutes and is not intended to make a diagnosis. It is therefore only intended to investigate the nature of the cases of ageusia and anosmia in the people affected and to compare them with other pathologies. If you agree to participate, the data will remain completely anonymous and will be stored on secure sites.
The researchers would like to receive tens of thousands of responses before they can propose a follow-up protocol for patients who still have problems with their sense of smell and taste after two weeks.
No treatment possible
Most coronavirus patients who have lost their senses recover within two weeks according to recent studies on this topic. For patients who are slowly regaining their sense of smell, it is recommended that an appointment with a specialist be made about a month after the onset of anosmia and that rehabilitation be considered. The latter consists of inhaling different types of smells for several minutes every day for several weeks. Stimulating the olfactory organ with unrelated smells increases regeneration.