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Loss of taste and smell, even without a “stuffy nose”, are a distinctive feature of COVID-19

11 December 2020
A huge open access and participatory study whose first results have been published on Chemical Senses

A global survey conducted in more than forty countries around the world provides the most important evidence of the connection between COVID-19 and the loss of smell, taste and so-called chemesthesis, namely the sensitivity to molecules like those present in chili peppers. In particular, in these patients this loss is often not associated with a “stuffy nose”, an important feature for diagnostics to distinguish the disease from other viral infections, such as a cold or flu.

The first results of the study have been published on the scientific journal, Chemical Senses, while the study continues investigating also other aspects of the relationship between COVID-19 and smell. Like that of “parosmia”, the distortion of the sense of smell that leads to the inability to correctly identify smells. It is an anomaly often found in people who have contracted the Coronavirus, even months after their recovery. SISSA of Trieste is taking part in the investigation through Prof. Anna Menini’s workgroup. 

Press release