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JAMA Ophthalmol ; 139(2): 255-256, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995819
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 569126, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983750


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still underway. An understanding of the virus's mode of transmission and infection is required for its effective containment. Besides the respiratory and digestive tracts, the ocular surface presents an additional mucosal surface that is exposed to infectious droplets and direct/indirect contact. The relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the eye remains controversial. This review examines up-to-date information on ocular manifestation, laboratory testing, transmission, and prevention of COVID-19. Based on clinical observations, the risk of conjunctivitis in COVID-19 is low. Despite the low incidence, positive SARS-CoV-2 results in eye specimens suggest that the ocular surface may harbor SARS-CoV-2, which may increase the infection and transmission risk. We conclude that the ocular surface remains a potential transmission route for the virus that should not be ignored. In addition, the intraocular findings have also been described in COVID-19. The measures for eye and face protection should be widely adopted to stem the tide of the pandemic.

JAMA Ophthalmol ; 138(5): 575-578, 2020 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20527


IMPORTANCE: While the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in more than 100 000 infected individuals in China and worldwide, there are few reports on the association of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with ocular abnormalities. Understanding ocular manifestations of patients with COVID-19 by ophthalmologists and others may facilitate the diagnosis and prevention of transmission of the disease. OBJECTIVE: To investigate ocular manifestations and viral prevalence in the conjunctiva of patients with COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this case series, patients with COVID-19 treated from February 9 to 15, 2020, at a hospital center in Hubei province, China, were retrospectively reviewed for ocular manifestations. During the period of treatment, the ocular signs and symptoms as well as results of blood tests and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from nasopharyngeal and conjunctival swabs for SARS-CoV-2 were noted and analyzed. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Ocular signs and symptoms as well as results of blood tests and RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Of the 38 included patients with clinically confirmed COVID-19, 25 (65.8%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 65.8 (16.6) years. Among them, 28 patients (73.7%) had positive findings for COVID-19 on RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs, and of these, 2 patients (5.2%) yielded positive findings for SARS-CoV-2 in their conjunctival as well as nasopharyngeal specimens. A total of 12 of 38 patients (31.6%; 95% CI, 17.5-48.7) had ocular manifestations consistent with conjunctivitis, including conjunctival hyperemia, chemosis, epiphora, or increased secretions. By univariate analysis, patients with ocular symptoms were more likely to have higher white blood cell and neutrophil counts and higher levels of procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, and lactate dehydrogenase than patients without ocular symptoms. In addition, 11 of 12 patients with ocular abnormalities (91.7%; 95% CI, 61.5-99.8) had positive results for SARS-CoV-2 on RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. Of these, 2 (16.7%) had positive results for SARS-CoV-2 on RT-PCR from both conjunctival and nasopharyngeal swabs. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this study, one-third of patients with COVID-19 had ocular abnormalities, which frequently occurred in patients with more severe COVID-19. Although there is a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears, it is possible to transmit via the eyes.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Conjunctiva/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Eye Diseases/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Aged , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2