OBJECTIVE: To evaluate an empirical olfactory test to identify COVID-19 cases during a workplace entrance screening. METHOD: An active screening for olfactory dysfunction using water and vinegar was conducted in April to June 2020 among 4120 meat packing workers in Latin America. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of the active olfactory screening examination were 41.2% and 85.3%, respectively, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests as a gold standard. 10.6% of employees who tested positive for COVID-19 had an olfactory dysfunction as their only symptom. These individuals would not have been identified with standard workplace screening measures including temperature screening. CONCLUSION: Active screening for olfactory dysfunction may serve as a valuable tool to both identify potential COVID-19 infections and exclude those who do not have infection and should be a part of parallel algorithm combined with standard workplace entrance screening procedures.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of occupational and environmental medicine|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health