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Smell test for COVID-19 screening


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#1 APK_NN

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 03:45 PM

Hello, I wanted to check if anyone is doing smell tests at their facility to screen employees for covid-19? if so, what method has worked for you?



#2 olenazh

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 03:54 PM

That would be only one of covid symptoms, it's not representative, is it? We do only temperature screening



#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 04:46 PM

We tried to get Joe Biden but instead got beagle puppies to do the smell testing.

 

Obviously joking, but seriously is there a government agency telling companies they need to smell people now?


Edited by SQFconsultant, 22 December 2020 - 04:50 PM.

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#4 APK_NN

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 04:47 PM

Yes, that seems to be a more prevalent symptom. we are doing temperature screening as well. Curious to know what types of smell tests are being used in the industry, if any



#5 kfromNE

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 07:41 PM

Hello, I wanted to check if anyone is doing smell tests at their facility to screen employees for covid-19? if so, what method has worked for you?

We have a symptom questionnaire checker on the front door along with someone taking temperatures. So we look at all the common symptoms.

 

I can say from experience as the COVID-19 coordinator - loss of smell seems to be the 'odd' symptom that isn't really seen in other respiratory issues and probably is COVID-19.

However, if someone calls in and says they lost their sense of smell, we don't automatically say they have COVID-19 and not let them come in.

 

We follow the CDC guidelines on work/symptom criteria.

 

Good luck. It's been 'fun'.



#6 Scampi

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 09:01 PM

You're not on solid legal footing on this one...........i would stick to temp screening  at least its an absolute---smell is too variable between people to be useful


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#7 TimG

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 09:32 PM

We're doing temp 'screening' as well. And by screening I mean they walk into the facility, stop at a IR temp station mounted on a wall, and then record their temp on a sheet in the break room. It's pretty much a self screening...

Smell test is one I have yet to see. My local health care provider is also still using a questionnaire and IR temp.



#8 rwalker

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 05:07 AM

We have "loss of smell" on the entry questionnaire, but are mainly using the temperature check of staff on entry to the site. 

 

I think this parameter is too variable among individuals - some may naturally have a poor sense of smell and may fail a qualitative smell test when that's normal for them. 



#9 pHruit

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 08:26 AM

I'd recommend gathering a random group of your colleagues and doing some taste panel work with them, if you want to get an idea of how variable people's sensitivity to flavours and smells actually is. Perhaps one to save until there isn't a pandemic going on, but it's quite an interesting exercise. Having done many of these, I'd certainly have reservations about the usefulness of any test that relied on a person to give qualitative feedback on smelling something ;)



#10 zanorias

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 06:37 PM

Unless this is in line with national guidelines it seems an odd path to implement. As someone with a less-than-ideal sense of smell myself, I'd be quite dismayed if I turned up to work and denied entry purelt due to failing a 'smell test'.

 

Interesting reading below, airport setting but transferrable logic.

 

However, we urge caution about a call to introduce smell tests as a screening tool in some settings, such as airports and shopping centres, with the intention of denying access to those identified as having lost their sense of smell.

Although new-onset and sudden-onset anosmia has a high likelihood of predicting a positive test for COVID-19 when the prevalence of disease is high, population estimates suggest that 19·1% of adults suffer from pre-existing diminished sense of smell, a figure that rises to 80% in patients older than 75·5 years. These data closely reflect the 21·7% of patients who tested negative for COVID-19 in the COVID Symptom Study who reported a loss of sense of smell.

Furthermore, in patients who have developed anosmia as a result of COVID-19, chemosensory loss persists for 8 weeks in approximately 10% of cases (unpublished), but this does not reflect how infectious these individuals are to others and when they have viral clearance. The self-reported median recovery rate of 5 days, as reported by Menni and colleagues,will not be matched by the results of psychophysical smell tests. To deny access to airports or retail parks to approximately one fifth of the population on this basis risks introducing a form of discrimination and would be an intervention that goes beyond the public health benefits of reducing transmission.

 

https://www.thelance...2317-5/fulltext



#11 kfromNE

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 08:25 PM

Unless this is in line with national guidelines it seems an odd path to implement. As someone with a less-than-ideal sense of smell myself, I'd be quite dismayed if I turned up to work and denied entry purelt due to failing a 'smell test'.

 

Interesting reading below, airport setting but transferrable logic.

 

However, we urge caution about a call to introduce smell tests as a screening tool in some settings, such as airports and shopping centres, with the intention of denying access to those identified as having lost their sense of smell.

Although new-onset and sudden-onset anosmia has a high likelihood of predicting a positive test for COVID-19 when the prevalence of disease is high, population estimates suggest that 19·1% of adults suffer from pre-existing diminished sense of smell, a figure that rises to 80% in patients older than 75·5 years. These data closely reflect the 21·7% of patients who tested negative for COVID-19 in the COVID Symptom Study who reported a loss of sense of smell.

Furthermore, in patients who have developed anosmia as a result of COVID-19, chemosensory loss persists for 8 weeks in approximately 10% of cases (unpublished), but this does not reflect how infectious these individuals are to others and when they have viral clearance. The self-reported median recovery rate of 5 days, as reported by Menni and colleagues,will not be matched by the results of psychophysical smell tests. To deny access to airports or retail parks to approximately one fifth of the population on this basis risks introducing a form of discrimination and would be an intervention that goes beyond the public health benefits of reducing transmission.

 

https://www.thelance...2317-5/fulltext

This doesn't surprise me. I worked in a nursing home/rehab facility as a dietitian for 2.5 years. That was a complaint I got a lot - they could taste/smell their food. A lot of times it's caused by the medicine they were on.

 

On the same end - we did let people know that if they have a medical condition that caused their temperature to be higher than the average - let us know. Not common but it can happen.


Edited by kfromNE, 23 December 2020 - 08:28 PM.





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