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  • Online smell, taste challenge offered as early detection tool for COVID-19

    Professor M. Yanina Pepino seated in her home holding a cup of coffee. A bookcase with books is behind her.

    People can use their coffee or other favorite morning beverage and a web-based tool to monitor changes in their senses of smell and taste, which may be early warning signs they have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. M. Yanina Pepino, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, serves on the leadership council for the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, the group that developed the smell and taste challenge.

    Photo by Luka Gruev


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  • Editor’s Note: To reach M. Yanina Pepino, call 217-300-2374; email

    The paper “Recent smell loss is the best predictor of COVID-19 among individuals with recent respiratory symptoms” is available online or from the News Bureau.