Can you get COVID-19 through eyes?
New Delhi, May 07: Can you contract coronavirus through your eyes? Concern has been raised as more people becoming critically ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2.
According to the World Health Organisation, the primary mode of COVID-19 transmission is through repiratory droplets of saliva, or nasal discharged when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The world health body also suggested that the virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with each other, typically within 1 metre (short-range). A person can be infected when aerosols or droplets containing the virus are inhaled or come directly into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.
People may also become infected by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus when touching their eyes, nose or mouth without cleaning their hands.
Various researches have said said the clear tissue that covers the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid, known as the conjunctiva, can be infected by other viruses.
COVID infection through eyes? What study says
A study published in March 2020 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology found that among 38 COVID-19 patients hospitalised in China, 12 (32%) had positive clinical signs of conjunctivitis (eye redness, swelling, watery eyes, or increased eye secretions).
Another study published in July 2020 in the journal Ophthalmology, found that among 17 COVID patientsn in Singapore, they detected no traces of the coronavirus in patients' tears, but the virus populated the patients' noses and throats.
Coronavirus transmission through eyes may not be the primary mode but you should be mindful of even small methods of covid spread.
Where does COVID-19 spread easily?
• Crowded places
• Close-contact settings, especially where people have conversations very near each other
• Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
How do I reduce the risk of COVID-19?
• Follow local guidance
• Keep your distance
• Wear a mask
• Avoid crowded places, poorly ventilated, indoor locations and avoid prolonged contact with others.
• Spend more time outdoors than indoors.
• Avoid touching surfaces
• Frequently clean your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow or tissue, throwing used tissues into a closed bin right away.
• Get vaccinated