American Rhinologic Society Press Release Regarding COVID-19

The press release below is from the American Rhinologic Society, and I wanted to include it on our blog in order to provide resources for further reading on how COVID-19 is affecting rhinology.
Josh Meier, M.D. F.A.R.S. F.A.C.S.

Press Release – April 14, 2020
Dear Colleagues,

The fight against COVID-19 is in full swing, and we are beginning to see some peer-reviewed contributions in the literature. These data-driven studies are much stronger than the anecdotal reports we have been forced to rely on in the early stages of the crisis. Specifically, the association of Covid-19 infection with smell loss has been strengthened and I would like to draw your attention to the 3 new articles in IFAR noted below:

The use of google trends to investigate the loss of smell related searches during COVID‐19 outbreak

A primer on viral‐associated olfactory loss in the era of COVID‐19

Association of chemosensory dysfunction and Covid‐19 in patients presenting with influenza‐like symptoms

There have been some encouraging signs in the battle against COVID-19 over the past week. This has caused many us to begin consideration of the question of when and how we can return to some degree of normal operations. There is still much we need to learn about the virus, which will have major implications going forward. We are not clear on when asymptomatic but infected patients are capable of spreading the virus, whether immunity is durable and whether chronic carrier states exist. Moreover, scientists do not yet agree on whether large droplets vs. much smaller aerosols can both serve as mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 spread. (Lewis, D. Nature vol. 580, 9 April 2020) The answers to these questions will obviously affect both office and operating room policies going forward. To that end, I would like to draw your attention to the below study that begins the process of analyzing aerosol production with the use of common rhinologic tools. The clinical relevance is not yet clear, but studies such as this are a first step back in the direction of normalcy.

Endonasal instrumentation and aerosolization risk in the era of COVID‐19: simulation, literature review, and proposed mitigation strategies

Thank you.

Robert Kern, MD, FARS
American Rhinologic Society