The coronavirus can linger in patients’ eyes for several weeks and could act as a way of spreading the COVID-19 disease, according new study from Italy.
Scientists at Italy’s National Institute for Infectious Diseases hospital in Rome studied the symptoms of an unnamed 65-year-old woman who developed the virus after travelling from the Chinese city of from Wuhan.
When the woman developed conjunctivitis – an eye infection causing redness and itchiness – doctors decided to take regular swabs from her eye. They discovered the virus remained present in “ocular samples” up to 21 days after she was admitted to hospital.
The team said the findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicated that eye fluids from coronavirus patients “may be a potential source of infection”.
The study authors said: “These findings highlight the importance of control measures, such as avoiding touching the nose, mouth, and eyes and frequent hand washing.”
Read full story
Source: The Independent, 24 April 2020