Loss of Taste and Smell are Common Clinical Characteristics of Patients with COVID-19 in Somalia: A Retrospective Double Centre Study
Received 27 May 2020
Accepted for publication 16 July 2020
Published 29 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2631—2635
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony
Mohamed Farah Yusuf Mohamud, Yahye Garad Mohamed, Abdiladhif Mohamed Ali, Bakar Ali Adam
Mogadishu Somali-Turkish Training and Research Hospital, Mogadishu, Somalia
Correspondence: Mohamed Farah Yusuf Mohamud
Turkish Training and Research Hospital, Thirty Street Alikamin, Wartanabada District, Mogadishu, Somalia
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the common clinical presentations and the evidence on the presence of ageusia and anosmia as an emerging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptom to better inform in both COVID-19 patients and clinicians.
Patients and Methods: As part of a double-institutional collaboration coordinated by doctors, this study retrospectively collected and analyzed the clinical characteristics of 60 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia between April 1 and April 20, 2020. Pregnant women and patients taking anti-cancer drugs had been excluded from the study. Data from each institution’s electronic medical record had been obtained.
Results: Sixty patients who had RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 were included in this study; of these patients, all of them had unknown exposure to COVID-19. The mean (SD) age was 45.7 (13.5) years, and 42 were men (70%). Of these patients, 80% had at least ageusia or anosmia. The most common symptoms at the onset of illness were cough (75%), fever (71.3%), myalgia or fatigue (53.3%), anosmia (loss of smell) (40%), ageusia (loss of taste) (28.3%), sore throat (25%), shortness of breath (16.7%), headache (16.7%), and GI symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and loss appetite) (16.7%). A total of 68.3% of COVID-19 infected patients had reported either loss of taste or smell, and about 33.3% of them had only loss of smell, while 23.3% of them had impaired taste, and 11.7% of COVID-19 infected patients had both taste and smell loss.
Conclusion: During the epidemic period of SARS-CoV-2 infection, when presenting patients with ageusia and anosmia, physicians should consider COVID-19 pneumonia as a differential diagnosis to achieve early identification, avoid the delayed diagnosis, and prevention of transmission.
Keywords: anosmia, ageusia, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, pneumonia
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