Sudden loss of smell and/or taste is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19. In most cases, the sense of smell treats itself spontaneously, but in the case of some patients, its disorders may persist for weeks to months. Therefore, from the initiative of scientists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, a project called Smell and COVID-19 was developed. Thanks to it, those interested can test their smell from the comfort of their home with the help of the Fragrance Marker Test.
The testing is intended for people with sudden olfactory disorders and people with persistent olfactory disorders after overcoming COVID-19. “Examination with the Fragrance Marker Test will allow us to objectify olfactory disorders, as self-assessment of patients may not be reliable,” explained Enikő Račeková from the Institute of Neurobiology of the Biomedical Research Center SAS (BMC SAS), who is one of the project coordinators.
Those interested can apply for the test via the website www.cuch.sk. Upon request, they will be sent an olfactory test, including an identification code. “The candidate will then fill in one of the online questionnaires during the test, depending on whether s/he suffers from sudden or persistent loss of smell. The staff of our Institute will evaluate their tests and send them the results by e-mail together with a recommendation for further action. Patients will be able to demonstrate these results with specialist doctors,” added the second project coordinator Marcela Martončíková from the Institute of Neurobiology of the BMC SAS.
“In this start-up phase of the project, the number of tests is limited. The project will be functional until the tests are exhausted. After evaluating the interest and results of the first phase, we plan to continue with the project,” added the authors.
The project Smell and COVID-19 is one of the results of the long-term efforts of the research team to introduce the examination of smell as a general clinical diagnostic method in Slovakia, similarly to the surrounding countries. The guarantee of the project is Pavel Doležal, President of the Slovak Society Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The project was developed and is implemented thanks to the support of the civic association Association for the Support of Neuroscience Research.