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J Ophthalmol ; 2020: 4827304, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788242


The novel pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has challenged the medical community. While diagnostic and therapeutic efforts have been focused on respiratory complications of the disease, several ocular implications have also emerged. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been found in tears of the infected patients, and reports suggest that the ocular surface could serve as a portal of entry and a reservoir for viral transmission. Clinically, COVID-19 has been associated with mild conjunctivitis, which can be the first and only symptom of the disease. Subtle retinal changes like hyperreflective lesions in the inner layers on optical coherence tomography (OCT), cotton-wool spots, and microhemorrhages have also been reported. In addition, COVID-19 has been associated with an increased incidence of systemic diseases like diabetes mellitus and Kawasaki disease, which are particularly relevant for ophthalmologists due to their potentially severe ocular manifestations. Several treatment strategies are currently under investigation for COVID-19, but none of them have been proved to be safe and effective to date. Intensive care unit patients, due to risk factors like invasive mechanical ventilation, prone position, and multiresistant bacterial exposure, may develop ocular complications like ocular surface disorders, secondary infections, and less frequently acute ischemic optic neuropathy and intraocular pressure elevation. Among the array of drugs that have shown positive results, the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine has raised a concern due to their well-known retinal toxic effects. However, the risk of retinal toxicity with short-term high-dose use of antimalarials is still unknown. Ocular side effects have also been reported with other investigational drugs like lopinavir-ritonavir, interferons, and interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 inhibitors. The aim of this review was to summarize ophthalmological implications of SARS-CoV-2 infection to serve as a reference for eye care and other physicians for prompt diagnosis and management.

Eur J Ophthalmol ; 30(4): 621-628, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291469


INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide. Italy is one of the most affected countries as of 30 March 2020. Public health response includes a rapid reorganization of the Italian National Healthcare System in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19 within hospitals and healthcare facilities, while optimizing the assistance to patients with severe COVID-19 complications. METHODS: We analysed the actions that were taken in three ophthalmology centres in northern Italy during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and how these measures affected patient's attendance. In addition, due to the rapidly evolving scenario, we reviewed the evidence available during the course of this pandemic. RESULTS: A full reorganization of ophthalmology services is mandatory according to current existing infection containment measures in order to continue dispensing urgent procedures without endangering the community with amplification of the diffusion chain. Ophthalmologists are considered at elevated risk of exposure when caring patients and vice versa, due to their close proximity during eye examination. High volumes of procedures typically generated by ophthalmologists with concurrent implications on the risk of infection are considered when re-assessing healthcare facilities reorganization. CONCLUSION: Containment measures in the event of pandemic due to infective agents should be well known by healthcare professionals and promptly applied in order to mitigate the risk of nosocomial transmission and outbreak.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Eye Diseases/therapy , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Italy/epidemiology , Ophthalmology/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/organization & administration