Coronavirus Survey: Had a recent respiratory infection?

Abdulrahman Olagunju, FASLN

Researchers across the globe are conducting online survey investigating latest symptom of coronavirus.

While fever, cough and shortness of breath have been the most obvious signs, and those that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn to look out for, loss of sense of smell and taste has recently came into limelight and become the cynosure of all eyes.  It's a startling symptom being experienced by some patients infected by the coronavirus. The medical terms are anosmia -- loss of smell; and dysgeusia -- change in taste.


It’s thought by some experts that the novel coronavirus might be affecting the nerves that carry those senses.


It is on this note that Psychology Research Assistant Professor Valentina Parma and scientists around the world have joined the Global Consortium of Chemosensory Researchers (GCCR) to investigate the connection between these senses and COVID-19. The Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) are seeking to find out if smell and taste loss, which a number of COVID-19 patients have reported experiencing, could be another telltale sign of COVID-19.  Dr. Parma is chair of the GCCR Leadership Team, which heads up the consortium of approximately 500 (and growing) professors, scientists, clinicians and patient advocates working in the consortium from 38 different countries across six continents.

“We aim to map the smell and taste symptoms that people report in relationship to COVID-19,” says Dr. Parma, “and to understand whether smell and taste change in specific ways in COVID-19 as compared to other viral illnesses.”


To ascertain that information, the GCCR is sending out a survey and developing other screening tests around the world. The team hopes this will lead to the development of an evidence-based tool for self-reporting COVID-19 smell and taste symptoms. “We're aiming for the highest scientific evidence that we can with the tools that we can use at this moment. Virtual, open science is a powerful tool. Maybe the lessons learned in this emergency situation will transform the future of chemosensory research and beyond.” - Parma added


The survey is being translated into more than 20 languages and is freely available to individuals and clinicians.


The consortium is urging anyone with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 in the few past weeks to complete the survey, which is available here (https://sites.google.com/view/gcchemosensr/) (Only take the survey if you have a confirmed or presumed case of COVID-19)


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