AAO Issues Alert on Coronavirus
In an effort to keep its members informed, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has been issuing updated alerts on the growing concern over the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes a severe respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
The AAO has previously urged members to use caution when treating potentially infected patients, because according to the AAO, there have been anecdotal reports suggesting the “virus can cause conjunctivitis and possibly be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva,” increasing the possibility that ophthalmologists may be the first healthcare workers evaluating infected patients.
To help protect against infection, the AAO recommends providers wear protective nose, mouth, and eye covers when treating patients who present with fever and respiratory symptoms, and who have recently traveled to or have family who has recently travelled to an area with known outbreak, including China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.
In the updated alert, the AAO notes that the virus that causes COVID-19 is likely vulnerable to the types of disinfectants that ophthalmologists commonly use. Continuing the same disinfection practices is recommended.
Read the entire AAO’s update, here.