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Paediatric olfactory dysfunction: a chance to detect COVID-19?
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  1. Andrew Hall1,
  2. Claire Frauenfelder1,
  3. Colin Butler1,2,
  4. Paula Coyle1,
  5. Claire Hopkins3
  1. 1Department of Paediatric ENT, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
  2. 2University College London Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Rhinology, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Hall, Paediatric ENT, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London WC1N 3JH, UK; andrew.hall{at}gosh.nhs.uk

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We wish to challenge the assumption by COVID-19 researchers that olfactory dysfunction cannot be reviewed in children.1 Early identification of COVID-19 positive patients is key to limiting community spread and controlling the current global pandemic. New-onset anosmia was added to the primary screening symptoms for self-isolation after evidence emerged that it is an early symptom of COVID-19 infection. Official advice stipulates all individuals experiencing new-onset anosmia be presumed COVID-19 infected. Children were not excluded from this advice.

Anosmia is a highly specific and moderately sensitive screening symptom for COVID-19 infection in adults.2 To date, no published paediatric anosmia screening tools in COVID-19 have been validated. Simple screening questions regarding change or decrease in …

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