Coronavirus may be present in conjunctival secretions of infected patients although it is not yet determined if the virus can be transmitted through conjunctiva, according to a report from China published in Acta Ophthalmologica.
According to the report, 37 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (12 severe cases, 25 mild cases) underwent reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Conjunctival congestion and other inflammatory ocular manifestations were present in 3 cases. In one case, conjunctival secretion showed evidence of the virus and this patient had no conjunctivitis.
“Therefore, we must pay attention to the possibility of virus in conjunctival sac secretion of COVID‐19 patients and need to further detect the virus in conjunctival sac secretion as evidence,” the authors wrote in the report. “The viral load of conjunctival sac secretion of COVID‐19 patients is relatively low, and we estimate the viral load is directly proportional to the severity of the disease.”
Read the full report here.
Liang L and Wu P. Perspective In Ophthalmology: There may be virus in conjunctival secretion of patients with COVID‐19. Acta Ophthalmology. 2020; March. https://doi.org/10.1111/aos.14413