Smelling Household-Odorants Effectively Screens for COVID-19
Zachary F Mainen,
Johan N Lundstrom,
Posted 23 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.18.21251422
Posted 23 Feb 2021
Key to curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic are wide-scale testing strategies1,2. An ideal test is one that would not rely on transporting, distributing, and collecting physical specimens. Given the olfactory impairment associated with COVID-193-7, we developed a novel measure of olfactory perception that relies on smelling household odorants and rating them online. We tested the performance of this real-time tool in 12,020 participants from 134 countries who provided 171,500 perceptual ratings of 60 different household odorants. We observed that olfactory ratings were indicative of COVID-19 status in a country, significantly correlating with national infection rates over time. More importantly, we observed remarkable indicative power at the individual level (90% sensitivity and 80% specificity). Critically, olfactory testing remained highly effective in participants with COVID-19 but without symptoms, and in participants with symptoms but without COVID-19. In this, the current odorant-based olfactory test stands apart from symptom-checkers (including olfactory symptom-checkers)3, and even from antigen tests8, to potentially provide a first line of screening that can help halt disease progression at the population level.
- Downloaded 604 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 53,272
- In epidemiology: 2,513
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 9,423
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 29,623
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!