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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2024 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Olfactory and Gustatory Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients in South India

Kadlepla Paramashivaiah Basavaraju, Kartik Herkal, Prathvi Prabhakar Nayak

Keywords : Anosmia, Coronavirus disease 2019, Hyposmia, Olfaction disorder, Taste disorder

Citation Information : Basavaraju KP, Herkal K, Nayak PP. Olfactory and Gustatory Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients in South India. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2024; 16 (1):14-17.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10003-1493

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 11-04-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Aim: The study aims to research the incidence of olfactory and gustatory symptoms in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Materials and methods • Study design: Cross-sectional study • Setting: Tertiary care hospital in Karnataka, India • Subjects: A total of 100 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were included in the study. • Method: Taste was examined using solutions of salty, sour, bitter, and sweet taste. Two or more wrong answers were considered abnormal. The smell was evaluated using cardamom, soap, talcum powder, cinnamon, onion, mango, rose, paint thinner, lemon and orange. A score of more than 6 was considered normosmia, 6 or less as hyposmia, and 2 or less as anosmia. Results: In this study, 25% (n = 25) of patients had smell disturbance out of which 10 patients had anosmia and 15 had hyposmia. No case of parosmia was seen. A total of 21 patients had complaints of taste disturbance. Among those, 19 (90.5%) presented with ageusia/hypogeusia, and 2 (9.5%) with dysgeusia. The incidence of taste and smell disturbance in this study was statistically significant. A total of 15 patients had both symptoms; 10 patients had isolated smell disturbance and 6 patients had isolated taste disturbance. Conclusion: Coronavirus disease 2019 is continuing to be a health threat in many cities of India. Many of the patients had olfactory and gustatory dysfunction as one of the earliest symptoms, presenting even before testing. This can be made use of by doctors for early diagnosis and management of COVID-19. Clinical significance: This study gives us the statistics of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in the South Indian population. Early recognition of these symptoms will help otorhinolaryngologists to diagnose and treat COVID-19 in its early stage, hence reducing the complications.

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