COVID-19 and anosmia in Tehran, Iran
Gilani, Sapideh et al.
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Patients with acute olfactory disorders typically present to the otolaryngologist with both acute hyposmia and less often with anosmia. With the onset of COVID-19 we have noticed an increase in the number of patients who have presented with new onset of complete smell loss to the senior author’s practice in Tehran, Iran. This anosmia and the frequency with which patients present is highly unusual. Coronaviruses have been known to cause common cold symptoms. COVID-19 infections have been described as causing more severe respiratory infections and the symptoms reported by authors from Wuhan, China have not specifically included anosmia. We describe patients who have presented during a two-week period of the COVID-19 pandemic with complete loss of sense of smell. Most had either no symptoms or mild respiratory symptoms. Many had a normal otolaryngologic exam. A relationship between COVID-19 and anosmia should be considered during the pandemic. We hypothesize that the mechanism of injury is similar to that of other coronavirus infections that cause central and peripheral neurologic deficits.