Parosmia as an Early Symptom of Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection
A 30-year-old woman with an unremarkable medical history developed nocturnal parosmia (an intense smell of sweaty feet) lasting for several hours. On the next day, she felt slightly unwell. No specific symptoms (cough, fever) were present. Two days later, she reported complete loss of smell and taste. An ENT specialist diagnosed complete anosmia. Topical steroids b.i.d. and smell training were started. Postviral hyposmia was diagnosed, but (in the absence of known symptoms) SARS-CoV-2 infection was not suspected. The anosmia started to improve 6 days later and eventually disappeared altogether. Cranial MRI revealed no abnormalities. Fourteen days after the parosmia, it was publicized that hyposmia might be a symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection. One day later, PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 was positive. Parosmia is a subjectively intrusive manifestation that may well be a clinical sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection and may precede hyposmia. A report of parosmia should lead to early SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Linda von der Brelie, Interdisziplinäre Notaufnahme, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen
Christoph Becker, Praxis für HNO Medizin, Bayreuth
PD Dr. med. Christian von der Brelie, Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen,
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
Translated from the original German by David Roseveare.
Cite this as: Von der Brelie L, Becker C, von der Brelie C: Parosmia as an early symptom of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2020; 117: 328. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2020.0328
Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online, 202010.3238/arztebl.2020.0689a