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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital ; 41(2): 101-107, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241350


OBJECTIVES: Patients with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may present with a wide range of symptoms. In this paper, a detailed characterisation of mild-to-moderate ear, nose nd throat (ENT) symptoms is presented with the aim of recognising the disease early to help reduce further spread and progression. METHODS: A total of 230 cases testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 134 negative controls were recruited for a case-control analysis. Symptoms were analysed using the Acute Respiratory Tract Infections Questionnaire, while other symptoms were investigated by ad hoc questions. RESULTS: Among the study samples (n = 364), 149 were males and 215 were females with age ranging from 20 to 89 years (mean 52.3). Four main groups of symptoms were obtained: influenza-like symptoms, ENT-symptoms, breathing issues and asthenia-related symptoms, representing 72%, 69%, 64% and 53% of overall referred clinical manifestations, respectively. ENT symptoms, breathing issues and influenza-like symptoms were associated with positivity to SARS-CoV-2, whereas asthenia-related symptoms did not show a significant association with SARS-CoV-2 infection after controlling for other symptoms, comorbidities and demographic characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: ENT symptoms are equally represented with influenza-like ones as presenting symptoms of COVID-19. Patients with ENT symptoms should be investigated for early identification and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 spread.

COVID-19/complications , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/diagnosis , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/etiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
Acta Biomed ; 92(1): e2021105, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122048


The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV2 has stressed health care systems worldwide. The high volume of patients, combined with an increased need for intensive care and potential transmission, has forced reorganization of hospitals and care delivery models. In this article, are presented approaches to minimize risk to Otolaryngologists during their patients infected with COVID-19 care. We performed a narrative literature review among PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science electronic databases, searching for studies on SARS-CoV2 and Risk Management. Standard operating procedures have been adapted both for facilities and for health care workers, including the development of well-defined and segregated patient care areas for treating those affected by COVID-19. Personal protective equipment (PPEs) availability and adequate healthcare providers training on their use should be ensured. Preventive measures are especially important in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, as the exposure to saliva suspensions, droplets and aerosols are increased in the upper aero-digestive tract routine examination. Morever, the frequent invasive procedures, such as laryngoscopy, intubation or tracheotomy placement and care, represent a high risk of contracting COVID-19.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Otolaryngologists , Risk Management , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Tracheostomy
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 146(8): 729-732, 2020 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-624510


Importance: An altered sense of smell and taste has been reported to be associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To understand the evolution of these symptoms during the course of the disease is important to identify patients with persistent loss of smell or taste and estimate the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on the burden of olfactory and gustative dysfunctions. Objective: To evaluate the evolution of the loss of sense of smell and taste in a case series of mildly symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional survey-based study included 202 mildly symptomatic adults (≥18 years) consecutively assessed at Treviso Regional Hospital, Italy, between March 19 and March 22, 2020, who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal and throat swabs. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of altered sense of smell and taste at follow-up and their variation from baseline. Results: Of 202 patients completing the survey at baseline, 187 (92.6%) also completed the follow-up survey (103 [55.1%] women; median age, 56 years). The evaluation of the evolution of altered sense of smell or taste in the 113 patients reporting sudden onset of these symptoms at baseline showed that 55 patients (48.7%; 95% CI, 39.2-58.3) reported complete resolution of smell or taste impairment, 46 (40.7%; 95% CI, 31.6-50.4) reported an improvement in the severity, and only 12 (10.6%; 95% CI, 5.6-17.8) reported the symptom was unchanged or worse. Persistent loss of smell or taste was not associated with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions and Relevance: At 4 weeks from the onset, 89% of the SARS-CoV-2-positive mildly symptomatic patients who had had a sudden onset of altered sense of smell or taste experienced a complete resolution or improvement of these symptoms. Persistent loss of smell or taste was not associated with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19/complications , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/virology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult