Objective This study aimed to measure the duration and recovery rate of olfactory loss in patients complaining of recent smell loss as their prominent symptom during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. Method This was a prospective telephone follow-up observational study of 243 participants who completed an online survey that started on 12 March 2020. Results After a mean of 5.5 months from the loss of smell onset, 98.3 per cent of participants reported improvement with a 71.2 per cent complete recovery rate after a median of 21 days. The chance of complete recovery significantly decreased after 131 days from the onset of loss of smell (100 per cent sensitive and 97.7 per cent specific). Younger age and isolated smell loss were associated with a rapid recovery, whereas accompanying rhinological and gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with longer loss of smell duration. Conclusion Smell loss, occurring as a prominent symptom during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, showed a favourable outcome. However, after 5.5 months from the onset, around 10 per cent of participants still complained of moderate or severe hyposmia.
- Olfactory disorders