Coronavirus patients’ eyes could be infectious for WEEKS as new symptoms emerge
The highly infectious disease is primarily spread through airborne spew or on surfaces, but new symptoms have been discovered showing the mutations the virus undergoes.
Researchers at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy found that virus persisted in the eyes of one 65-year-old woman for 21 days after she first developed symptoms.
Reports have emerged of people getting pink eye with coronavirus worldwide.
The symptom is rare however, with the number of patient affected remaining quite low.
The report suggests that the tears and eye mucus of infected people may transmit the virus for weeks after symptoms develop.
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Studies have found that the eyes are one of the parts of the body that can be attacked by coronavirus.
Health officials have been advising people to not touch their face and eyes to stop the spread of the disease.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can be caused by many bacteria and viruses, though the latter is more common.
The symptom often comes along with respiratory infections, such as the flu.
In the US, pink eye as a symptom of COVID-19 first became a coronavirus concern after a nurse at the Life Care Center care home in Kirkland, Washington revealed that almost every COVID-19 patient she treated there had red eyes.
The Life Care Centre saw an outbreak that infected more than 80 residents and 34 staff members, as well as killing 35 people.
The nurse said that many of those patients showed no other signs of illness, but were eventually confirmed to have coronavirus.
The symptom is still not listed as a symptom by the Centre for Disease Control in America, or by the government in the UK, but has been observed in many countries.
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While the new development is concerning, data suggests it is a relatively uncommon occurrence.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the symptom affects less than one percent of patients.
In their study of more than 1,000 Chinese coronavirus patients, just nine developed eye infections (accounting for less than one percent of the group).
In another study punished in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the same rarity of the symptom was observed, but it was also shown that the symptom is persistent and infectious.
Only one out of 30 patients in that study developed conjunctivitis.
On the third day after the patient was admitted to the hospital, the woman’s eyes were still red, so the team there started swabbing the woman’s eyes.
The health care workers continued to sample her eye fluid almost every day after that.
Every sample revealed genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
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