In a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 89% of the SARS-CoV-2-positive, mildly symptomatic patients who had a sudden onset of altered sense of smell or taste, experienced a complete resolution or improvement of these symptoms. Persistent loss of smell or taste was not associated with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection.
At 4 weeks from the initial survey of mildly symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 who reported smell or taste loss, 101 (89%) experienced a complete resolution or improvement of these symptoms with only 12 (11%) reporting that the sense of smell or taste was unchanged or worse. Although altered sense of smell or taste showed improvement in most cases during the course of the disease, these symptoms were still the most frequently reported by patients with COVID-19 4 weeks after testing.
At the end of the day, loss of smell or taste is among the most common and persistent symptoms of COVID-19 in patients with mildly symptomatic disease. If you are continuing to experience a loss of taste or smell, consider scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider. It might be something that will linger but it could be something more if it is over 4 weeks. Check it out! Stay well, mask if appropriate and stay tuned!