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Article # 3115
Journal Rhinology 62 - 1
Article Title Smell loss associated with SARS-CoV-2 is not clinically different from other viruses: a multicenter cohort study
Abstract Background: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the prevalence of cases with olfactory loss, other respiratory viruses can also cause this condition. We aimed to compare the prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and other respiratory viruses in patients with sudden smell loss, and to assess the impact of SARS-CoV-2 viral load and co-infection on olfactory symptoms.

Methods: Patients with sudden smell loss were recruited in a multicenter prospective cohort study in 15 hospitals in Brazil. Clinical questionnaire, Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center (CCCRC) olfactory test and nasopharyngeal swab to perform a PCR-based respiratory viral panel were collected at first visit (day 0) and 30 and 60 days after recruitment.

Results: 188 of 213 patients presented positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, among which 65 were co-infected with other respiratory viruses (e.g., rhinovirus, enterovirus, and parainfluenza). 25 had negative test results for SARS-CoV-2. Patients in both SARSCoV-2 and non-SARS-CoV-2 groups had objective anosmia (less than 2 points according to the psychophysical olfactory CCCRC) at day 0, with no significant difference between them. Both groups had significant smell scores improvement after 30 and 60 days, with no difference between them. Co-infection with other respiratory viruses, and SARS-CoV-2 viral load did not impact olfactory scores.

Conclusion: Patients with sudden smell loss associated with SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses had similar presentation, with most participants initiating with anosmia, and total or near total recovery after 60 days. SARS-CoV-2 viral load and co-infections with other respiratory viruses were not associated with poorer olfactory outcomes.
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