Eye symptoms in patients with COVID-19
1 April 2020
Nearly one-third of patients with COVID-19 treated at a hospital centre had eye problems, a small study from China has shown.
The study of 38 patients with confirmed COVID-19 from Hubei Province, China, found 12 patients had eye signs consistent with conjunctivitis, including dilation of the conjunctival blood vessels (seen as redness), swelling of the conjunctiva (the mucus membrane covering the front of the eye and lining the inside of the eyelids), excessive watering of the eyes, or increased secretions.
Eye abnormalities were more likely in patients with more severe COVID-19.
In addition, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected on swabs of the conjunctiva of 2 patients.
“Although there is a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears, it is possible to transmit via the eyes,” the authors said.
This raises potential safety issues for ophthalmologists and other healthcare professionals who examine the eyes.
Last Reviewed: 01/04/2020
1. Wu P, Duan F, Luo C, et al. Characteristics of Ocular Findings of Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hubei Province, China. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 31, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1291
Highlights from the latest research into COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19 survivors’ blood plasma may help critically ill
Critically ill patients with COVID-19 have shown improvement after transfusion of plasma from survivors of the disease.
Growing number of 'long haul' COVID-19 patients
There are a growing number of patients who report persistent symptoms of COVID-19 often 100+ days beyond diagnosis which vary from day to day. Learn more.
PPE recommendations for General Practice
Healthcare workers are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. What are the current recommendations for use of PPE in general practice?
Coronavirus still detectable in sputum and stool after throat swabs become negative
People with COVID-19 may still test positive for coronavirus in their stool and sputum, even after pharyngeal swabs have become negative for the virus.