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A Rapid Olfactory Test as a Potential Screening Tool for COVID-19

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is one of the earliest and strongest predictors of COVID-19 infection, and thus is promising as a disease screening tool.1,2 Compared with objective testing, subjective olfactory assessments significantly underreport OD.3,4 Thus, an inexpensive, quick, and sensitive method of assessing olfaction may be beneficial for the early diagnosis and spread prevention of COVID-19. In this study, we evaluate the feasibility of a novel, objective olfactory test as part of an initial screening for COVID-19 in adults with unknown disease status.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: May 26, 2021.

Published Online: July 15, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.1456

Corresponding Author: Carol H. Yan, MD, Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, 9350 Campus Point Dr, Mail Code 0970, La Jolla, CA 92037 (c1yan@health.ucsd.edu).

Author Contributions: Dr Yan had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Said, P. Davis, S. A. Davis, S. Davis, Yan.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Said, S. A. Davis, Smart, S. Davis, Yan.

Drafting of the manuscript: Said, S. A. Davis, Yan.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Said, P. Davis, Smart, S. Davis, Yan.

Statistical analysis: Said, Yan.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Said, P. Davis, S. A. Davis, S. Davis, Yan.

Supervision: Yan.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Davis is the founder of SAFER Diagnostics. No other disclosures were reported.

Funding/Support: This work was supported by SAFER Diagnostics.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: SAFER Diagnostics had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
1.
Yan  CH , Faraji  F , Prajapati  DP , Boone  CE , DeConde  AS .  Association of chemosensory dysfunction and COVID-19 in patients presenting with influenza-like symptoms.   Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2020;10(7):806-813. doi:10.1002/alr.22579PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Gerkin  RC , Ohla  K , Veldhuizen  MG ,  et al; GCCR Group Author.  Recent smell loss is the best predictor of COVID-19 among individuals with recent respiratory symptoms.   Chem Senses. 2021;46:bjaa081. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjaa081PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
Moein  ST , Hashemian  SM , Mansourafshar  B , Khorram-Tousi  A , Tabarsi  P , Doty  RL .  Smell dysfunction: a biomarker for COVID-19.   Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2020;10(8):944-950. doi:10.1002/alr.22587PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Hoffman  HJ , Rawal  S , Li  C-M , Duffy  VB .  New chemosensory component in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): first-year results for measured olfactory dysfunction.   Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2016;17(2):221-240. doi:10.1007/s11154-016-9364-1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Zhu  J , Ji  P , Pang  J ,  et al.  Clinical characteristics of 3062 COVID-19 patients: a meta-analysis.   J Med Virol. 2020;92(10):1902-1914. doi:10.1002/jmv.25884PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Gostic  K , Gomez  AC , Mummah  RO , Kucharski  AJ , Lloyd-Smith  JO .  Estimated effectiveness of symptom and risk screening to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   Elife. 2020;9:e55570. doi:10.7554/eLife.55570PubMedGoogle Scholar
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