The study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, looked at the prevalence of loss of smell and recovery in 2,581 patients, from the mildest to the most severe, in 18 European hospitals.

Loss of smell is one of the most common symptoms of covid-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus.

According to the study, which was based on clinical evaluations, loss of smell was identified in 54.7% of cases of mild covid-19 and in 36.6% of moderate to severe cases.

Less than half of the patients were unable to recover their sense of smell after two months (15.3%) to six months (4.7%), the publisher that publishes the medical journal said in a statement.

Covid-19 is transmitted by a new coronavirus (type of virus) detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, which spread rapidly around the world.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed at least more than 1.8 million deaths resulting from more than 85 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French news agency AFP.

In Portugal, 7,286 people died from 436,579 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

ER // JMR

Lusa / End

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