Background: Loss of smell and taste are considered potential discriminatory symptoms indicating triaging for coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19) and early case identification. However, the estimated prevalence essential to guide public health policy
varies in published literature.
Methods: The prospective study evaluated 100 individuals with a COVID-19 infection, as confirmed by Reverse transcriptase
PCR laboratory testing. Olfactory and gustatory testing were carried out by an examiner utilizing stringent safety standards and
wearing full personal protective equipment.
Results: Among the 100 patients included in this study, 54% were male and 46% were female with a mean age of 38.82±12.21
years (18-72). Among the 100 patients included in this study, 13 patients had isolated taste dysfunction, 16 patients had isolated
olfactory dysfunction, 51 patients had combined dysfunction, and 20 patients had neither taste nor olfactory dysfunction. Among
the 51 patients who had combined olfactory and gustatory dysfunction, 31.3 % of them had predominant gustatory dysfunction,
47.1 % predominant olfactory dysfunction and 21.6% of the patients had both olfactory and gustatory dysfunction equally.
Conclusions: Olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions are strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Olfactory with or without
gustatory dysfunctions is potentially a reliable indicator of latent COVID-19.