Use of Vinegar and Water to Identify COVID-19 Cases During a Workplace Entrance Screening Protocol

Nimisha Kalia, Jessica Aguilar Moraga, Max Manzanares, Vanessa Friede, Mohannad Kusti, Edward J. Bernacki, Xuguang Grant Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e184-e186
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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