The relationship between coronavirus transmission and your eyes is complicated. COVID-19 is believed to be transmitted from person to person primarily through “respiratory droplets” in the air produced when someone coughs or sneezes, just like the flu virus. These droplets can fall into the mouth or nose of close people and possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Skilled doctors aren’t sure if someone can get this virus by touching a surface or object, such as a table or door knob, that has COVID -19, and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Peking University breathing specialist Wang Guangfa believes he contracted COVID-19 when he came into contact with patients at health clinics in China. Wang reported that his left eye became inflamed afterward, followed by fever and a build-up of mucus in his nose and throat. Later he was diagnosed with the new coronavirus. According to the South China Morning PostWang believes that the virus entered his left eye because he was not wearing protective glasses.
Dr. Jan Evans Patterson, professor of medicine and pathology in the infectious diseases division of the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, confirms that a scenario like Wang’s could occur. In Wang’s situation, he says, respiratory drops from an infected person could have reached his eyes or other mucous membranes. Overall, and while COVID-19 transmission comes with so many unknowns that it’s “unlikely” to spread through hand-to-eye contact, says Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief infectious disease officer at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. , NY.
Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.
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