A team of University of Florida neuroscientists will analyze two different smell tests under a National Institutes of Health grant aimed at developing inexpensive, at-home tests to help identify new cases of COVID-19 and provide a warning sign of a community outbreak in time to thwart it.
The UF team and collaborators at The Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University (ASU) will evaluate the results of two self-administered, scratch-and-sniff smell tests. The first asks users to identify odors such as smoke, strawberry, chocolate and onions, while the second, novel test is designed to reveal a participant’s sensitivity to different concentrations of the same odor.
“One thing that’s become very apparent with COVID-19 is that there’s no single symptom that is universal for everyone who has the disease, but one of the most common is smell loss, especially early, sudden smell loss,” said Steven Munger, Ph.D., director of UF’s Center for Smell and Taste and principal investigator of the new study. “There are a growing number of studies now that suggest 50 to 70 percent of individuals with COVID-19, even if don’t have another symptom, are experiencing smell loss.”Learn more about Smell Tests Evaluated As Potential Tool To Identify COVID-19.