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Source: Julich Research Center Jülich, 3. July 2020 – A global Online survey confirms that infection with the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a significant impairment of smell and sense of taste, up to its complete loss. The “global consortium for chemo-sensory research (GCCR)”, one of the steering group of the jülich psychologist, Dr. Kathrin Ohla, has now been published in the Online edition of the journal “Chemical Senses” first results of the ongoing survey. The evaluation also shows that The disturbances of smell and sense of taste in COVID-19-distinguish the Infected from those that occur with flu, or colds.

The GCCR survey has been online since April 7th and is now available in 32 languages. All adults who have or have had respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, flu or colds in the past or in the past two weeks can participate. The questionnaire covers three chemical senses: the sense of smell, the sense of taste and the sense of certain sensations in the mouth, such as burning, cold or tingling, for example when in contact with chilli, peppermint candy or carbonic acid. The GCCR experts call this third sense irritation or chemesthesis. The participants are asked to indicate on electronic scales with sliders between 0 and 100 how well they assess their perceptions with the respective chemical sense before and during the illness. In their current publication, the GCCR researchers evaluated the information of 4039 adults with a positive COVID 19 diagnosis off – so many had taken the survey in the first eleven days after they started online. The olfactory ability of these participants therefore decreased by around 80 on average during the illness on a scale between 100 (excellent sense of smell) and 0 (no sense of smell). In terms of taste, the losses were around 70 and the irritation was around 37 points. “The high decline in the mean values ​​can be attributed to the fact that a large part of the participants reported that it was completely lost,” explains Dr. Kathrin Ohla, GCCR contact person for the German-speaking countries. However, she warns against a misinterpretation: “We cannot make any statements about the frequency of sensory impairment in COVID-19, because the survey does not produce any representative results.” For example, it can be assumed that people with odor and taste disorders are more likely to suffer because of their personal concern Participate in the GCCR survey as those without such symptoms. Impairments at the beginning of the disease Despite this limitation, the survey already provides essential insights: “It becomes clear that the smell and taste disorders in infections with the new coronavirus differ from those in Colds or flu occur, ”says Ohla, who works at the Jülich Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine. In contrast to COVID-19, the effects of colds and flu are almost always accompanied by a stuffy nose. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 infected respondents rarely report the phenomenon that they smell things that are not there, or that fragrances smell more unpleasant than before the illness. Finally, there are indications that the odor and taste impairments in COVID-19 already appear at the beginning of the disease, whereas they often do so in the case of flu and colds only when the other symptoms have already subsided. “But we need more data here,” says Ohla. In the meantime, a team led by Ohla has published an online test at, which allows anyone interested to continuously test their smell and taste ability and sensitivity to irritation measure yourself at home. “This test is motivated by the many reports from those affected who cannot smell and taste again even after weeks and sometimes months,” says Ohla. The test is intended to provide insights into the duration and course of the complaints. However, it could also serve as an early warning system for a second wave of infection, since a sudden loss of smell and taste is a key symptom of COVID-19. Disorders of the chemical senses would often have serious consequences for those affected, emphasizes Kathrin Ohla: “The disorders can affect eating behavior , decrease the ability to enjoy and even lead to depression. Some sufferers fear that they will experience an odor nuisance that they themselves will not notice. Or they are afraid of not recognizing dangers such as smoke development in good time. ”Original publication: More than smell – COVID-19 is associated with severe impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis, Chemical Senses, 20 June 2020, DOI: 10.1093 / chemse / bjaa041

COVID-19 Special of DW-News with taste and smell loss after an infection with COVID-19. In jülich, a psychologist and a taste researcher Katrin Ohla talks about the findings from the Online survey of the GCCR.More information:The online survey (multilanguage)online test to Check Smell and taste assets (English)website of the GCCR (English)Institute of neuroscience and medicine, Cognitive neuroscience (INM-3)taste – and smell disorders in COVID-19, a press release from the 9. April 2020Wissenschaftlerinnen and scientists from the Forschungszentrum Jülich to explore in other projects, the Corona-Virus. For example, mathematical models for the dynamics of the Corona outbreak in Germany, which you can also simulate the effect of mitigation measures. Make infrastructure available, in order to simulate, for example, the effect of potential drugs in a computer-based, or to examine and develop concrete, individual drug candidates. Here is a summary of how jülich researchers are working on the management of the Corona-crisis. In Interviews, researchers come to Kathrin OhlaLeiterin of the working group “Cognitive neurophysiology”Institute of neuroscience and medicine (INM-3)phone: 02461 61-4548E-Mail: k.ohla@fz-juelich.deProf. Dr. med. Thomas Hummel interdisciplinary centre for Smell and SchmeckenHNO clinic, Technical University Dresden phone: 0351 458 4189E-Mail: thummel@msx.tu-dresden.dePressekontakt:Dr. Regine Panknin Under Kommunikationtel Take.: 02461 61-9054E-Mail: r.panknin@fz-juelich.deErhard Zeiss, PressereferentTel.: 02461 61-1841E-Mail:

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