Pink Eye A Symptom Of COVID-19 – Coronavirus Can Spread Via Tears
Chinese researchers say the coronavirus can cause a “pink eye” besides COVID-19 and can spread through tears.
The new study found that out of 38 COVID-19 patients, a dozen had a pink eye (conjunctivitis). Coronavirus was present in both eye and nasal fluids of two patients. Researcher Dr. Liang Liang of the ophthalmology department at China Three Gorges University in Yichang said: “Some COVID-19 patients have ocular symptoms, and maybe novel coronaviruses are present in the conjunctival secretions of patients with COVID-19.”
The thin, transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner eyelid and the white of the eye partly is called the conjunctiva. In patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, the coronavirus may invade this layer.
This would imply that if someone rubs an infected eye and then touches someone else the virus can spread. It can spread during an eye examination also.
According to the report published online in JAMA Ophthalmology on March 31, it is more likely that a patient with very severe COVID-19 has a pink eye.
The findings warn nurses and doctors treating COVID-19 patients to wear protective glasses along with other protective clothing, gloves, and caps.
People should take steps to prevent pink eye, a New York City eye doctor reacted to the research. The preventive measures should include avoiding touching face and eyes and using glasses during the outbreak, instead of the contact lens.
Dr. Prachi Dua, an ophthalmologist at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital said: “Although conjunctivitis is a rare manifestation of this disease, we should take all the necessary precautions to prevent conjunctivitis, including frequent hand-washing.”
She also added that clinicians and patients should be aware that COVID-19 can have symptoms like ocular swelling, redness and tearing. Patients with these symptoms should seek appropriate measures for proper diagnosis and prevention of transmission.
The new study is a warning that conjunctiva can be a source of COVID-19 infection. It means that the virus can spread via a doctor examining your eye, someone rubbing their eye and touching someone else, or through someone’s tears. And pink eye can be a symptom of severe COVID-19.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that no eye examinations be performed during the coronavirus pandemic. But emergencies that can affect the vision should be taken care of.