Journal of Pulmonary Medicine

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Prevalence of smell and taste alterations in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Argentina

There is evidence on the deterioration of smell and taste in patients with COVID-19. Differences were found in the prevalence of these symptoms in different populations. Based on the pattern of presentation, as of April 16, 2020, the definition of a suspected case in Argentina incorporated these symptoms. The objective of this study is to establish the prevalence of these deficits in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Multicenter study. Confirmed COVID-19 cases older than 18 years, RT-PCR swabs, between May 15 and August 31, 2020 participated. Participants completed an online survey, which included sociodemographic questions, on COVID-19 symptoms, comorbidities and in relation to perception of loss of smell and taste. RESULTS: 241 patients participated, 79% reported loss of smell and 54% of taste. In 32% of the cases the loss of smell was the first symptom. The proportion of men and women who reported olfactory dysfunction was similar and the same happened in relation to the loss of taste. The prevalence of these symptoms coincides in relation to the age of the patient. DISCUSSION: A high proportion of patients with COVID-19 present olfactory and taste dysfunction in the Argentine population. The dissemination of the olfactory and gustatory test adapted to cultural smells, which can be carried out at home, is important. In the future we will develop the implementation of a massive disposable and digitized test

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