24 Jun Monell Scientists Collaborate with the GCCR to Launch Tool for Tracking COVID-19 Smell, Taste Loss
PHILADELPHIA (June 24, 2020) – Smell and taste loss are useful predictors of COVID-19, but it can be difficult to become aware of changes in these senses. With the smell-and-taste-check tool from the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Researchers (GCCR), people can track the acuity of their senses of smell and test with a simple, non-invasive, self-administered test.
Loss of smell (anosmia) and loss of taste (ageusia) are often present in the acute phase of COVID-19, even in otherwise asymptomatic individuals. These symptoms may last well beyond the end of other symptoms, such as fever and cough. The GCCR self-check tool is designed to help monitor the loss of smell and taste, as well as its recovery, among other uses.
“Some people realize they have COVID-19 based on a sudden loss of smell and taste alone,” said Monell Associate Director Danielle Reed, PhD, who is a member of the GCCR Leadership Team. “Many regain their sense of smell after other symptoms resolve, however, for some, the recovery may take longer. Our smell and taste self-check allows anyone to chart their progress.”
To administer the GCCR test, participants first gather items they likely already have, including scented soap or perfumes, spices and condiments, fruits and vegetables, and common pantry items. Participants then rate their ability to smell and/or taste each one.
The designers of this global survey have taken care to include items common in a range of cultures. Participants will be able to log in and track their smell and taste ability over time. Not only will this allow participants to better quantify their senses, but the tool also provides researchers with valuable information about how respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, affect smell and taste.
The GCCR test can be taken at any time:
• at the onset of or during COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness
• at any time during recovery
• by healthy people, who want to track their sense of smell and taste.
The GCCR recommends that the test be used once a week. The self-check can be found on the GCCR website. It is currently offered in English and will soon be available in other languages.
The Global Consortium of Chemosensory Researchers (GCCR) leadership team is:
-John Hayes, PhD, Penn State, USA
-Thomas Hummel, MD, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
-Chrissi Kelly, Founder, AbScent.org, UK
-Steve Munger, PhD, University of Florida, USA
-Masha Niv, PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
-Kathrin Ohla, PhD, Research Center Jülich, Germany
-Valentina Parma, PhD, Temple University, USA
-Danielle Reed, PhD, Monell Chemical Senses Center, USA
-Maria Veldhuizen, PhD, Mersin University, Turkey
The Global Consortium for Chemosensory researchers is an international group of transdisciplinary scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates founded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 500 members in over 56 countries, the GCCR will harness their reach to conduct and analyze worldwide evidence-based information to combat the spread of COVID-19.