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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 196-201

Olfactory and Taste Dysfunction and Its Correlation with Viral Load on Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction among COVID-19 Patients: A Comparative Study from Tribal India


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vikas Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_177_21

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Background and Aim: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) diagnosis is confirmed by detection of viral nucleic acid by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in the upper respiratory samples through nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs or sputum. The present study compared the means of viral load on RT-PCR among COVID-19 patients with and without olfactory and taste dysfunction (OTD) admitted to dedicate COVID-19 hospital (DCH). Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional comparative study was conducted after IEC approval in DCH Shahdol for a period of 4 months, and RT-PCR positive patients were divided into two groups, Group A (with OTD) and Group B (with no OTD) using chemosensitive psychophysical test. The sample size was calculated as 160 (Group A = 80 and Group B = 80) by using sample size formula: (σ21+ σ22/K) (z1− α/2 + z1− β)22. During data analysis, an association was significant for P < 0.05. Results: Among total subjects (n = 160), 129 subjects reported the history of fever or malaise followed by cough among 55 subjects. It was observed that from Group A and Group B, 38.7% and 36.2% of subjects stayed in hospital for <5 days, respectively. The differences in the mean Ct values, of all the three genes, between Group A and Group B were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The loss of smell and taste are important symptoms in COVID-19 patients. It need to be carefully assessed even in asymptomatic patients to reduce the further transmission of the virus in the community. This may help in further reducing the transmission of the virus in the community.


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