COMPARISON OF OLFACTORY DISTURBANCE IN COVID-19 POSITIVE CASES WITH NON COVID-19 RHINITIS CASES
Keywords:Anosmia, COVID-19, Olfactory cells
Objective: To determine association of anosmia as an early symptom of COVID-19 infection.
Study Design: Comparative cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: ENT department, Combined Military Hospital, Quetta, from Apr to Oct 2020.
Methodology: A total of 6411 consenting patients with symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract infection presenting at ENT department, Combined Military Hospital Quetta, from Apr to Oct 2020 were tested for COVID 19 via PCR studies.
Results: Out of 6411 individuals 1109 (17.3%) were found to be COVID positive and 5302 (82.7%) were COVID negative. Of the COVID positive cases 611 (55.1%) of COVID positive individuals had anosmia, whereas only 68 (1.2%) of COVID negative individuals had anosmia, this observation was statistically significant (p<0.001 on chi square test). Whereas only 33 (2.9%) patients had nasal obstruction in COVID positive group, and 68 (1.2%) cases in COVID negative group had nasal obstruction, this observation was not statistically significant (p>0.05 on chi square test).
Conclusion: Anosmia has a definite association with COVID 19 infection.