Background: Loss of smell and taste are common complaints in patients with the COVID-19 disease.These symptoms may present alone or with other symptoms.It is of utmost importance to know their rates of occurrence for better controlling of the infection.
Objectives: To detect the prevalence of anosmia and ageusia in individuals with COVID-19 in Al-Wajbah Primary Health Center, Doha, Qatar.
Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at Al-Wajbah Primary Health Center, Doha, Qatar. The study covered the two-month period -May and June 2020. The proven cases of COVID-19 by real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) were enrolled in the study. Data regarding the age, gender, symptomatology including anosmia and ageusia, history of recent travel, smoking, past history of nasal and paranasal diseases (NPND), and severity of the disease were taken from the patients’ records. IBM- SPSS version 22 statistical software was used for the analysis of the data.
Results: Out of 141, 35 (24.82%) subject presented with anosmia, ageusia or both. Most of the patients were from age group >30 year (n=104, 73.76%) with nearly equal gender. The majority of the individuals were without history of recent travel (92.2%) and smoking (80.14%). Three-quarters of the patients were asymptomatic, and 51.06% with a past history of NPND. The male sex, history of recent travel, smoking, and severe course of the disease were positive, highly significant association with anosmia or ageusia. All patients returned to their normal smell and taste sensations within a mean duration of 6.89 days.
Conclusion: Loss of taste and smell were common symptomatology of COVID-19 disease. The males, recent travel, smoking, and severe course of the disease were risk factors of the anosmia and ageusia in COVID-19 cases.
Keywords: Anosmia; Ageusia; Prevalence; COVID-19; Qatar.