90% of patients affected by Covid-19 with anosmia (total loss of sense of smell) regain that function before 60 days, according to a preliminary study carried out by the Neurology service of HM Hospitales, led by Dr. Marta Ochoa.
Specifically, the work has been carried out with 61 patients treated at HM Hospitales in a multidisciplinary way by the Neurology Service with the collaboration of the Otolaryngology Service (ENT) and specialists of the Group and whose data have been compiled by the neurologist Cristina Guijarro.
Likewise, and after the analysis of the recovery times of the olfactory function by the patients analyzed, the results have shown that a 10% of patients attended persist without regaining the sense of smell six months later of coronavirus infection.
“The mean time to onset of anosmia was three days and the mean duration was 23.25 days, although in 23% of the patients the anosmia lasted between 30-60 days and in 10% this symptomatology lasted more than 60 days. The problem is that this 10% persist with hyposmia (partial reduction in the ability to perceive odors) six months later “, said Dr. Guijarrro.
The detailed data of this preliminary study were presented in the I National Congress COVID-19 and contributed to the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN), together with other scientific societies, expressing, before the health authorities, the need to consider the anosmia-hipogeusia (AH) as clinical marker of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In addition, the results of this report will be published in the National Registry of the SEN. “In this way, in the initial phases of the pandemic in Spain we are aware that thanks to considering anosmia as an early marker of infection, 18 health workers were able to confine themselves and prevent diffusion of the infection “, explained the doctor.
In this sense, the HM Hospitales specialist has recognized that most of the cases initially diagnosed in the first wave were healthcare colleagues who consulted us, without any other symptoms. “Thus could isolate. Know that it is associated with a better prognosis of respiratory symptoms, also reassures patients“, has reported.
In addition, the study has shown that, like other respiratory virus infections, they can remain sequelae of smell disturbance chronically. “Neurologically speaking, anosmia is very annoying and disabling and on a professional level it can limit a lot. Not smelling can make you unaware of dangerous odors like chemicals or gas. Anosmia is accompanied by an alteration in taste, and not being able to enjoy food impoverishes existence and our memories with more emotional components are associated with smells “, the expert added.
The most recommended treatment to date for these patients in acute phases resides in the administration of corticosteroidsnasal topicals and later, olfactory training.