Those infected with coronavirus may lose their sense of smell or taste, but a new study reports that nearly 90 percent of patients who had sudden onset of symptoms saw an improvement or complete resolution of impairment after four weeks.
According to the study, loss of smell or taste is among the most common symptoms of mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
Researchers evaluated 202 mildly symptomatic adults at Treviso Regional Hospital, Italy. Their findings were published Thursday in JAMA Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery.
At four weeks, 89 percent of patients who reported a sudden onset of altered sense of smell or taste saw a complete resolution or improvement of the symptoms.
More specifically, 55 patients reported complete resolution, 46 noted an improvement in symptoms and 12 patients said the symptom was unchanged or worse.
For those who completely recovered, the impairment lasted around 11 days.
Researchers said lingering impairment was not associated with persistent virus infection.
A higher severity of smell and taste impairment was “reasonably due to a more severe injury” of tissue inside the nasal cavity, researchers wrote, and “was associated with a lower likelihood of recovery at four weeks.”
Researchers also observed "clinically meaningless associations" between the persistence of these symptoms and sex or age.