02 Jul 2020


Online Smell-Test Can Help Detect COVID-19 Cases and Map Their Spread


The words cinnamon, honey, and coffee may bring to mind a lovely breakfast, but SmellTracker has an original use for these and other everyday household items – COVID-19 tracking.

“By visiting the SmellTracker website and taking this simple test, anyone can easily assess whether their sense of smell is altered – an indication that they might have COVID-19”, says Zachary Mainen of the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, whose group is coordinating the SmellTracker study in Portugal.

The loss of sense of smell has emerged as one of the main symptoms of COVID-19. Some experience it as an early symptom, followed by others, such as cough and fever, while for some it is the only physical sign of infection.

Though the loss of smell can happen due to other conditions, various studies and reports indicate that a sudden alteration in olfactory function appears to be a distinguishing feature of COVID-19. As it turns out, this unusual symptom, which in the majority of cases passes within a few weeks, may be a blessing in disguise.

Read the full story here.

Common household items, such as spices, can be used for testing olfactory function at home with the SmellTracker test. Image: pixabay.