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1.
Chem Senses ; 472022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692247

ABSTRACT

Chemosensory scientists have been skeptical that reports of COVID-19 taste loss are genuine, in part because before COVID-19 taste loss was rare and often confused with smell loss. Therefore, to establish the predicted prevalence rate of taste loss in COVID-19 patients, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 376 papers published in 2020-2021, with 241 meeting all inclusion criteria. Drawing on previous studies and guided by early meta-analyses, we explored how methodological differences (direct vs. self-report measures) may affect these estimates. We hypothesized that direct measures of taste are at least as sensitive as those obtained by self-report and that the preponderance of evidence confirms taste loss is a symptom of COVID-19. The meta-analysis showed that, among 138,897 COVID-19-positive patients, 39.2% reported taste dysfunction (95% confidence interval: 35.34%-43.12%), and the prevalence estimates were slightly but not significantly higher from studies using direct (n = 18) versus self-report (n = 223) methodologies (Q = 0.57, df = 1, P = 0.45). Generally, males reported lower rates of taste loss than did females, and taste loss was highest among middle-aged adults. Thus, taste loss is likely a bona fide symptom of COVID-19, meriting further research into the most appropriate direct methods to measure it and its underlying mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Adult , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/virology , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624939

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) resulted in a worldwide pandemic of a highly infectious disease. The difficulty of dealing with COVID-19 is the broad spectrum of clinical manifestations that involves various pathophysiological mechanisms, severities, duration, and complications. This study aims to help emphasize the factors related to the persistence and duration of anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste) as part of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome in Saudi COVID-19 patients via a retrospective cross-sectional design. Eight hundred and eighty-one participants were recruited between March and April 2021. Those participants were 18 years or older, recovered from the COVID-19 infection, and completed 14 days after the onset of the acute phase of the disease. Among the 881 recruited participants, 808 have submitted eligible responses and were included in data analyses. The most common persistent symptoms in post-acute COVID-19 syndrome were anosmia (33.8%) and ageusia (26.4%). The data also showed a significant association between female sex and the incidence and the persistence of anosmia and ageusia. In multivariable analysis, anosmia during the acute phase was associated with BMI, asthma and shortness of breath, while anosmia during the post-acute phase was associated with sex. Ageusia during the acute phase was associated with sex, myalgia and arthralgia, while ageusia in the post-acute phase was associated with sex.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , Anosmia , COVID-19 , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
4.
Laryngoscope ; 132(2): 419-421, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527451

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical profile of patients who developed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after full vaccination. Demographic, epidemiological and clinical data were collected through medical records and online patient-reported outcome questionnaire from patients who developed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed by nasopharyngeal swab, at least 2 weeks after completion of vaccination. A total of 153 subjects were included. The most frequent symptoms were: asthenia (82.4%), chemosensory dysfunction (63.4%), headache (59.5%), runny nose (58.2%), muscle pain (54.9%), loss of appetite (54.3%), and nasal obstruction (51.6%). Particularly, 62.3% and 53.6% of subjects reported olfactory and gustatory dysfunction, respectively. Symptom severity was mild or moderate in almost all cases. Chemosensory dysfunctions have been observed to be a frequent symptom even in subjects who contracted the infection after full vaccination. For this reason, the sudden loss of smell and taste could continue to represent a useful and specific diagnostic marker to raise the suspicion of COVID-19 even in vaccinated subjects. In the future, it will be necessary to establish what the recovery rate is in these patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 132:419-421, 2022.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/epidemiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Smell/drug effects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taste/drug effects , Vaccination
5.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 912: 174582, 2021 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525777

ABSTRACT

The acute loss of taste and smell following COVID-19 are hallmark symptoms that affect 20-85% of patients. However, the pathophysiology and potential treatments of COVID-19 smell and taste loss are not fully understood. We searched the literature to review the potential pathologic pathways and treatment options for COVID-19 smell and taste loss. The interaction of novel coronavirus with ACE-2 receptors expressed on sustentacular cells and taste buds results in direct damage to the olfactory and gustatory systems. Also, the invasion of the virus to the olfactory neurons and consequent local inflammation are other proposed mechanisms. Therefore, COVID-19 patients with smell or taste loss may benefit from neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, or depolarizing agents. Based on the current evidence, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, insulin, and corticosteroids can be promising for the management of COVID-19 smell and taste loss. This review provided crucial information for treating COVID-19-related smell and/or taste loss, urging to perform large clinical trials to find optimum treatment options.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/drug therapy , COVID-19/drug therapy , Smell/drug effects , Taste/drug effects , Ageusia/virology , Animals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
6.
PLoS Med ; 18(9): e1003777, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rapid detection, isolation, and contact tracing of community COVID-19 cases are essential measures to limit the community spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We aimed to identify a parsimonious set of symptoms that jointly predict COVID-19 and investigated whether predictive symptoms differ between the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) lineage (predominating as of April 2021 in the US, UK, and elsewhere) and wild type. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We obtained throat and nose swabs with valid SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results from 1,147,370 volunteers aged 5 years and above (6,450 positive cases) in the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study. This study involved repeated community-based random surveys of prevalence in England (study rounds 2 to 8, June 2020 to January 2021, response rates 22%-27%). Participants were asked about symptoms occurring in the week prior to testing. Viral genome sequencing was carried out for PCR-positive samples with N-gene cycle threshold value < 34 (N = 1,079) in round 8 (January 2021). In univariate analysis, all 26 surveyed symptoms were associated with PCR positivity compared with non-symptomatic people. Stability selection (1,000 penalized logistic regression models with 50% subsampling) among people reporting at least 1 symptom identified 7 symptoms as jointly and positively predictive of PCR positivity in rounds 2-7 (June to December 2020): loss or change of sense of smell, loss or change of sense of taste, fever, new persistent cough, chills, appetite loss, and muscle aches. The resulting model (rounds 2-7) predicted PCR positivity in round 8 with area under the curve (AUC) of 0.77. The same 7 symptoms were selected as jointly predictive of B.1.1.7 infection in round 8, although when comparing B.1.1.7 with wild type, new persistent cough and sore throat were more predictive of B.1.1.7 infection while loss or change of sense of smell was more predictive of the wild type. The main limitations of our study are (i) potential participation bias despite random sampling of named individuals from the National Health Service register and weighting designed to achieve a representative sample of the population of England and (ii) the necessary reliance on self-reported symptoms, which may be prone to recall bias and may therefore lead to biased estimates of symptom prevalence in England. CONCLUSIONS: Where testing capacity is limited, it is important to use tests in the most efficient way possible. We identified a set of 7 symptoms that, when considered together, maximize detection of COVID-19 in the community, including infection with the B.1.1.7 lineage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Models, Biological , Ageusia/diagnosis , Ageusia/etiology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/etiology , Anosmia/virology , Appetite , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/virology , Chills/diagnosis , Chills/etiology , Chills/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Cough/diagnosis , Cough/etiology , Cough/virology , England , False Positive Reactions , Female , Fever/diagnosis , Fever/etiology , Fever/virology , Humans , Male , Mass Screening , Myalgia/diagnosis , Myalgia/etiology , Myalgia/virology , Pharyngitis/diagnosis , Pharyngitis/etiology , Pharyngitis/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , State Medicine
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360776

ABSTRACT

The year 2020 became the year of the outbreak of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which escalated into a worldwide pandemic and continued into 2021. One of the unique symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 disease, COVID-19, is the loss of chemical senses, i.e., smell and taste. Smell training is one of the methods used in facilitating recovery of the olfactory sense, and it uses essential oils of lemon, rose, clove, and eucalyptus. These essential oils were not selected based on their chemical constituents. Although scientific studies have shown that they improve recovery, there may be better combinations for facilitating recovery. Many phytochemicals have bioactive properties with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects. In this review, we describe the chemical compounds with anti- inflammatory and anti-viral effects, and we list the plants that contain these chemical compounds. We expand the review from terpenes to the less volatile flavonoids in order to propose a combination of essential oils and diets that can be used to develop a new taste training method, as there has been no taste training so far. Finally, we discuss the possible use of these in clinical settings.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/drug therapy , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/drug therapy , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Phytochemicals/therapeutic use , Ageusia/metabolism , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
9.
Immunol Res ; 69(6): 553-557, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345196

ABSTRACT

The persistence of neurological symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the presence of late axonal damage, is still unknown. We performed extensive systemic and neurological follow-up evaluations in 107 out of 193 consecutive patients admitted to the COVID-19 medical unit, University Hospital of Verona, Italy between March and June 2020. We analysed serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in all cases including a subgroup (n = 29) of patients with available onset samples. Comparisons between clinical and biomarker data were then performed. Neurological symptoms were still present in a significant number (n = 49) of patients over the follow-up. The most common reported symptoms were hyposmia (n = 11), fatigue (n = 28), myalgia (n = 14), and impaired memory (n = 11) and were more common in cases with severe acute COVID-19. Follow-up serum NfL values (15.2 pg/mL, range 2.4-62.4) were within normal range in all except 5 patients and did not differentiate patients with vs without persistent neurological symptoms. In patients with available onset and follow-up samples, a significant (p < 0.001) decrease of NfL levels was observed and was more evident in patients with a severe acute disease. Despite the common persistence of neurological symptoms, COVID-19 survivors do not show active axonal damage, which seems a peculiar feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Axons/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/pathology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/pathology , Anosmia/virology , Axons/virology , Disease Progression , Fatigue/pathology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Memory Disorders/pathology , Memory Disorders/virology , Middle Aged , Myalgia/pathology , Myalgia/virology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 880, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315615

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a collective scientific effort to study its viral causing agent SARS-CoV-2. Research is focusing in particular on its infection mechanisms and on the associated-disease symptoms. Interestingly, this environmental pathogen directly affects the human chemosensory systems leading to anosmia and ageusia. Evidence for the presence of the cellular entry sites of the virus, the ACE2/TMPRSS2 proteins, has been reported in non-chemosensory cells in the rodent's nose and mouth, missing a direct correlation between the symptoms reported in patients and the observed direct viral infection in human sensory cells. Here, mapping the gene and protein expression of ACE2/TMPRSS2 in the mouse olfactory and gustatory cells, we precisely identify the virus target cells to be of basal and sensory origin and reveal the age-dependent appearance of viral entry-sites. Our results propose an alternative interpretation of the human viral-induced sensory symptoms and give investigative perspectives on animal models.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/physiopathology , Anosmia/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Age Factors , Ageusia/virology , Animals , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Male , Mice , Olfactory Perception , Taste Perception
11.
Nat Med ; 27(9): 1607-1613, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290003

ABSTRACT

Long-term complications after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are common in hospitalized patients, but the spectrum of symptoms in milder cases needs further investigation. We conducted a long-term follow-up in a prospective cohort study of 312 patients-247 home-isolated and 65 hospitalized-comprising 82% of total cases in Bergen during the first pandemic wave in Norway. At 6 months, 61% (189/312) of all patients had persistent symptoms, which were independently associated with severity of initial illness, increased convalescent antibody titers and pre-existing chronic lung disease. We found that 52% (32/61) of home-isolated young adults, aged 16-30 years, had symptoms at 6 months, including loss of taste and/or smell (28%, 17/61), fatigue (21%, 13/61), dyspnea (13%, 8/61), impaired concentration (13%, 8/61) and memory problems (11%, 7/61). Our findings that young, home-isolated adults with mild COVID-19 are at risk of long-lasting dyspnea and cognitive symptoms highlight the importance of infection control measures, such as vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Cognitive Dysfunction/virology , Dyspnea/virology , Fatigue/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Norway , Patient Isolation , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
12.
Med Sci Monit ; 27: e932962, 2021 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278722

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative pathogen of the recent pandemic of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). As the infection spreads, there is increasing evidence of neurological and psychiatric involvement in COVID-19. Headache, impaired consciousness, and olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions are common neurological manifestations described in the literature. Studies demonstrating more specific and more severe neurological involvement such as cerebrovascular insults, encephalitis and Guillain-Barre syndrome are also emerging. Respiratory failure, a significant condition that leads to mortality in COVID-19, is hypothesized to be partly due to brainstem impairment. Notably, some of these neurological complications seem to persist long after infection. This review aims to provide an update on what is currently known about neurological involvement in patients with COVID-19 due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review, we demonstrate invasion routes of SARS-CoV-2, provide evidence to support the neurotropism hypothesis of the virus, and investigate the pathological mechanisms that underlie neurological complications associated with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Encephalitis/virology , Headache/physiopathology , Headache/virology , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Neuroimmunomodulation/physiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stroke/physiopathology , Stroke/virology
13.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e26459, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The year 2020 was the year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The severity of the situation has become so substantial that many or even most of the patients with mild to moderate symptoms had to self-isolate without specific medical treatments or even without being tested for COVID-19. Many patients joined internet membership groups to exchange information and support each other. OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to determine the benefits and limits of using social media to understand the symptoms of patients with suspected COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms and, in particular, their symptoms of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) and ageusia (loss of the sense of taste). The voluntary reports on an internet website of a membership group will be the platform of the analyses. METHODS: Posts and comments of members of an internet group known as COVID-19 Smell and Taste Loss, founded on March 24, 2020, to support patients with suspected COVID-19 were collected and analyzed daily. Demographic data were collected using the software mechanism called Group Insights on the membership group website. RESULTS: Membership groups on social media have become rare sources of support for patients with suspected COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms. These groups provided mental support to their members and became resources for information on COVID-19 tests and medicines or supplements. However, the membership was voluntary, and often the members leave without notification. It is hard to be precise from the free voluntary reports. The number of women in the group (6995/9227, 75.38% as of October 12, 2020) was about three times more than men (2272/9227, 24.62% as of October 12, 2020), and the peak age of members was between 20-40 years in both men and women. Patients who were asymptomatic other than the senses comprised 14.93% (53/355) of the total patients. Recovery of the senses was higher in the patients who were asymptomatic besides having anosmia and ageusia. Most (112/123, 91.06%) patients experienced other symptoms first and then lost their senses, on average, 4.2 days later. Patients without other symptoms tended to recover earlier (P=.02). Patients with anosmia and ageusia occasionally reported distorted smell and taste (parosmia and dysgeusia) as well as experiencing or perceiving the smell and taste without the sources of the smell or taste (phantosmia and phantogeusia). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis of the social media database of suspected COVID-19 patients' voices demonstrated that, although accurate diagnosis of patients is not always obtained with social media-based analyses, it may be a useful tool to collect a large amount of data on symptoms and the clinical course of worldwide rapidly growing infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Social Media
14.
J Crohns Colitis ; 15(5): 864-868, 2021 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216644

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: A similar course of COVID-19 in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases [IBD] and in the general population has been reported. However, disease prevalence in IBD patients is presently unknown. In this prospective observational study, we aimed at determining SARS-CoV2 infection prevalence in IBD patients treated with biologic therapy. METHODS: From IBD patients under biologic therapy and recruited from three different locations in Italy and Germany, 354 sera were evaluated for antibody presence by RBD ELISA. Control groups were: i] age-matched healthy subjects tested in the same time period in Milan, Italy; ii] healthy subjects collected in the pre-COVID era; iii] IBD patients under biologic therapy collected in the pre-COVID era. RESULTS: Eight out of 354 patients tested positive for the anti-RBD-SARS-CoV2 IgG antibody [prevalence 2.3%]. The percentage of IgG-positive patients among those recruited from Milan was significantly higher than among those recruited from other locations [prevalence 5.4% vs 0.4%, p <0.005]. IgG-positive patients reported a significantly higher incidence of fever, anosmia, and ageusia, and were more likely to have entered into close contact with COVID-19-positive subjects before the study enrolment. CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV2 in IBD patients treated with biologic therapy reflects values measured in the local general population. Specific symptoms and contact history with SARS-CoV2-infected individuals strongly increase the likelihood of SARS-CoV2 seropositivity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Biological Therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Fever/virology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies
15.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1548-1555, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196475

ABSTRACT

During this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, physicians have the important task of risk stratifying patients who present with acute respiratory illnesses. Clinical presentation of COVID-19, however, can be difficult to distinguish from other respiratory viral infections. Thus, identifying clinical features that are strongly associated with COVID-19 in comparison to other respiratory viruses can aid risk stratification and testing prioritization especially in situations where resources for virological testing and resources for isolation facilities are limited. In our retrospective cohort study comparing the clinical presentation of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, we found that anosmia and dysgeusia were symptoms independently associated with COVID-19 and can be important differentiating symptoms in patients presenting with acute respiratory illness. On the other hand, laboratory abnormalities and radiological findings were not statistically different between the two groups. In comparing outcomes, patients with COVID-19 were more likely to need high dependency or intensive care unit care and had a longer median length of stay. With our findings, we emphasize that epidemiological risk factors and clinical symptoms are more useful than laboratory and radiological abnormalities in differentiating COVID-19 from other respiratory viral infections.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/pathology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Dysgeusia/pathology , Adult , Ageusia/diagnosis , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/diagnosis , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Dysgeusia/diagnosis , Dysgeusia/virology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 766-774, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196399

ABSTRACT

We report a case series of five patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 who developed neurological symptoms, mainly expressing as polyradiculoneuritis and cranial polyneuritis in the 2 months of COVID-19 pandemic in a city in the northeast of Italy. A diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was made on the basis of clinical presentation, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and electroneurography. In four of them, the therapeutic approach included the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (0.4 g/kg for 5 days), which resulted in the improvement of neurological symptoms. Clinical neurophysiology revealed the presence of conduction block, absence of F waves, and in two cases a significant decrease in amplitude of compound motor action potential compound muscle action potential (cMAP). Four patients presented a mild facial nerve involvement limited to the muscles of the lower face, with sparing of the forehead muscles associated to ageusia. In one patient, taste assessment showed right-sided ageusia of the tongue, ipsilateral to the mild facial palsy. In three patients we observed albuminocytological dissociation in the cerebrospinal fluid, and notably, we found an increase of inflammatory mediators such as the interleukin-8. Peripheral nervous system involvement after infection with COVID-19 is possible and may include several signs that may be successfully treated with immunoglobulin therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/cerebrospinal fluid , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/diagnosis , Nervous System Physiological Phenomena , Neuritis/diagnosis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/diagnosis , Ageusia/virology , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/therapy , Facial Paralysis/diagnosis , Facial Paralysis/virology , Female , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Interleukin-8/cerebrospinal fluid , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Neuritis/therapy , Neuritis/virology , Polyradiculoneuropathy/diagnosis , Polyradiculoneuropathy/virology
17.
Acta Otolaryngol ; 141(6): 626-629, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171311

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Smell disorders persist in about half of the patients with other symptoms of COVID-19 disease, but the exact duration of the symptoms is yet unknown. Especially, only a few studies used validated olfactory tests for this. AIMS/OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate how many patients with olfactory function impairment, which was detected in a validated olfactory test 3 months after COVID-19 disease, showed improvement in olfactory function after 6 months. METHODS: About 26 patients with a PCR-confirmed, former COVID-19 disease, with an impaired olfactory function after three months, were included in the study. The olfactory function was evaluated with the sniffing sticks test, the taste function with taste sprays. RESULTS: Smelling function improved in all but one patient (96%). All measured subitems, i.e. olfactory threshold, identification and discrimination of odours significantly improved. In the whole mouth taste test all patients showed normal taste function. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: 6 months after COVID-19 disease, olfactory function improves in just about all patients. Long-term measurements must investigate whether complete regeneration of the olfactory function will occur in all patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Recovery of Function , Sensory Thresholds , Ageusia/virology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
18.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e26459, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167233

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The year 2020 was the year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The severity of the situation has become so substantial that many or even most of the patients with mild to moderate symptoms had to self-isolate without specific medical treatments or even without being tested for COVID-19. Many patients joined internet membership groups to exchange information and support each other. OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to determine the benefits and limits of using social media to understand the symptoms of patients with suspected COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms and, in particular, their symptoms of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) and ageusia (loss of the sense of taste). The voluntary reports on an internet website of a membership group will be the platform of the analyses. METHODS: Posts and comments of members of an internet group known as COVID-19 Smell and Taste Loss, founded on March 24, 2020, to support patients with suspected COVID-19 were collected and analyzed daily. Demographic data were collected using the software mechanism called Group Insights on the membership group website. RESULTS: Membership groups on social media have become rare sources of support for patients with suspected COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms. These groups provided mental support to their members and became resources for information on COVID-19 tests and medicines or supplements. However, the membership was voluntary, and often the members leave without notification. It is hard to be precise from the free voluntary reports. The number of women in the group (6995/9227, 75.38% as of October 12, 2020) was about three times more than men (2272/9227, 24.62% as of October 12, 2020), and the peak age of members was between 20-40 years in both men and women. Patients who were asymptomatic other than the senses comprised 14.93% (53/355) of the total patients. Recovery of the senses was higher in the patients who were asymptomatic besides having anosmia and ageusia. Most (112/123, 91.06%) patients experienced other symptoms first and then lost their senses, on average, 4.2 days later. Patients without other symptoms tended to recover earlier (P=.02). Patients with anosmia and ageusia occasionally reported distorted smell and taste (parosmia and dysgeusia) as well as experiencing or perceiving the smell and taste without the sources of the smell or taste (phantosmia and phantogeusia). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis of the social media database of suspected COVID-19 patients' voices demonstrated that, although accurate diagnosis of patients is not always obtained with social media-based analyses, it may be a useful tool to collect a large amount of data on symptoms and the clinical course of worldwide rapidly growing infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Social Media
19.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0241875, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148240

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prior studies examining symptoms of COVID-19 are primarily descriptive and measured among hospitalized individuals. Understanding symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pre-clinical, community-based populations may improve clinical screening, particularly during flu season. We sought to identify key symptoms and symptom combinations in a community-based population using robust methods. METHODS: We pooled community-based cohorts of individuals aged 12 and older screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection in April and June 2020 for a statewide prevalence study. Main outcome was SARS-CoV-2 positivity. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for individual symptoms as well as symptom combinations. We further employed multivariable logistic regression and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to examine symptoms and combinations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: Among 8214 individuals screened, 368 individuals (4.5%) were RT-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2. Although two-thirds of symptoms were highly specific (>90.0%), most symptoms individually possessed a PPV <50.0%. The individual symptoms most greatly associated with SARS-CoV-2 positivity were fever (OR = 5.34, p<0.001), anosmia (OR = 4.08, p<0.001), ageusia (OR = 2.38, p = 0.006), and cough (OR = 2.86, p<0.001). Results from EFA identified two primary symptom clusters most associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection: (1) ageusia, anosmia, and fever; and (2) shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. Moreover, being non-white (13.6% vs. 2.3%, p<0.001), Hispanic (27.9% vs. 2.5%, p<0.001), or living in an Urban area (5.4% vs. 3.8%, p<0.001) was associated with infection. CONCLUSIONS: Symptoms can help distinguish SARS-CoV-2 infection from other respiratory viruses, especially in community or urgent care settings where rapid testing may be limited. Symptoms should further be structured in clinical documentation to support identification of new cases and mitigation of disease spread by public health. These symptoms, derived from asymptomatic as well as mildly infected individuals, can also inform vaccine and therapeutic clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Screening/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/virology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cough , Cross-Sectional Studies/methods , Dyspnea , Epidemiologic Studies , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/virology , Humans , Indiana/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Syndrome
20.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 187, 2021 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090687

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Thresholds for SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays have typically been determined using samples from symptomatic, often hospitalised, patients. In this setting the sensitivity and specificity of the best performing assays can both exceed 98%. However, antibody assay performance following mild infection is less clear. METHODS: We assessed quantitative IgG responses in a cohort of healthcare workers in Oxford, UK, with a high pre-test probability of Covid-19, in particular the 991/11,475(8.6%) who reported loss of smell/taste. We use anosmia/ageusia and other risk factors as probes for Covid-19 infection potentially undiagnosed by immunoassays by investigating their relationship with antibody readings either side of assay thresholds. RESULTS: The proportion of healthcare workers reporting anosmia/ageusia increased at antibody readings below diagnostic thresholds using an in-house ELISA (n = 9324) and the Abbott Architect chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA; n = 11,324): 426/906 (47%) reported anosmia/ageusia with a positive ELISA, 59/449 (13.1%) with high-negative and 326/7969 (4.1%) with low-negative readings. Similarly, by CMIA, 518/1093 (47.4%) with a positive result reported anosmia/ageusia, 106/686 (15.5%) with a high-negative and 358/9563 (3.7%) with a low-negative result. Adjusting for the proportion of staff reporting anosmia/ageusia suggests the sensitivity of both assays in mild infection is lower than previously reported: Oxford ELISA 89.8% (95%CI 86.6-92.8%) and Abbott CMIA 79.3% (75.9-82.7%). CONCLUSION: Following mild SARS-CoV-2 infection 10-30% of individuals may have negative immunoassay results. While lowered diagnostic thresholds may result in unacceptable specificity, our findings have implications for epidemiological analyses and result interpretation in individuals with a high pre-test probability. Samples from mild PCR-confirmed infections should be included in SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay evaluations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Adult , Ageusia/virology , Anosmia/virology , Asymptomatic Infections , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoassay/standards , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Undiagnosed Diseases , United Kingdom
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