New research is indicating it is possible to get coronavirus exposure through the eyes.
Potentially, droplets from an infected person can end up in a person’s mouth, nose, and eyes and travel to the lungs, according to the CDC. Mucous membranes, like the eyes, are the most susceptible areas for viral transmission.
Joseph Fair, Ph.D., Virologist, and NBC News contributor, raised concern about exposure through the eyes when he became critically ill with COVID-19. In an interview from a hospital bed in New Orleans, Dr. Fair said that he had flown on a crowded plane wearing a mask and gloves, but no eye protection.
“My best guess,” he says, “was that it came through the eye route.”
When asked if people should start wearing eye protection, Dr. Fair replied, “In my opinion, yes.”
Coronavirus Transmission Through the Eyes
The American Optometric Association (AOA) has also recently indicated that the coronavirus might enter your body through the conjunctiva, which is the transparent, thin membrane that covers part of the front eye and inner parts of the eyelid.
Through the blood vessels within the conjunctiva, the coronavirus can then spread throughout your body.
It is well established in research that the conjunctiva can be infected by adenoviruses like the common cold and the herpes simplex virus. There is the same chance of infection with SARS-CoV-2, according to Elia Duh, MD, researcher, an professor of ophthalmology at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Says Dr. Duh: “If there are droplets that an infected individual is producing by coughing or sneezing or even speaking, then the front of the eyes are directly exposed, just like the nasal passages are exposed. In addition, people rub and touch their eyes a lot. So there’s certainly already the vulnerability.”
A recent report published by JAMA Ophthalmology found preliminary data that SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted through the eyes.
Researchers analyzed the data from 38 patients infected with COVID-19 in China and found that over 31% had eye issues such as epiphora (watery eyes), conjunctival congestion, or chemosis (swelling of the conjunctiva).
Alfred Sommer, MD at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health commented on the study: “The primary importance of this finding is epidemiologic: it confirms other reports
By: Deirdre Layne
Title: Can You Get Coronavirus Transmission Through the Eyes?
Sourced From: earthclinic.com/news/coronavirus-transmission-through-eyes/
Published Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2020 14:17:38 +0000
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