Recovery from olfactory and gustatory dysfunction following COVID-19 acquired during Omicron BA.1 wave in Italy.

Publication date: Jun 08, 2023

Despite alterations in the sense of smell and taste have dominated the symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the prevalence and the severity of self-reporting COVID-19 associated olfactory and gustatory dysfunction has dropped significantly with the advent of the Omicron BA. 1 subvariant. However, data on the evolution of Omicron-related chemosensory impairment are still lacking. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence and the recovery rate of self-reported chemosensory dysfunction 6-month after SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during the predominance of the Omicron BA. 1 subvariant in Italy. Prospective observational study based on the sino-nasal outcome tool 22 (SNOT-22), item “sense of smell or taste” and additional outcomes conducted in University hospitals and tertiary referral centers in Italy. Of 338 patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 completing the baseline survey, 294 (87. 0 %) responded to the 6-month follow-up interview. Among them, 101 (34. 4 %) and 4 (1. 4 %) reported an altered sense of smell or taste at baseline and at 6 months, respectively. Among the 101 patients with COVID-19-associated smell or taste dysfunction during the acute phase of the disease, 97 (96. 0 %) reported complete resolution at 6 months. The duration of smell or taste impairment was significantly shorter in vaccinated patients (p = 0. 007). Compared with that observed in subjects infected during the first wave of the pandemic, the recovery rate from chemosensory dysfunctions reported in the present series of patients infected during the predominance of the Omicron BA. 1 subvariant was more favorable with a shorter duration being positively influenced by vaccination.

Concepts Keywords
Italy Ageusia
Month Anosmia
Otolaryngol COVID-19
Pandemic Dysgeusia
Vaccination Olfactory dysfunction
Omicron variant


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
pathway REACTOME SARS-CoV-2 Infection
disease MESH taste dysfunction
disease VO vaccinated
disease VO vaccination

Original Article

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