SARS-CoV-2, or the coronavirus, calling the disease COVID-19, may be present in conjunctival secretions. However, this does not mean that it is transmitted through tears.
Researchers from the Central people’s hospital of Yichang, under the leadership of Liang Liang and Ping Wu examined 37 patients with COVID-19 to search for the virus in the conjunctival secretion. Interestingly, of these 37 patients, only 12 of them had acute symptoms of the disease. Three people were conjunctivitis.
The results obtained are not disturbing, but thought-provoking. One of the 37 patients studied SARS-CoV-2 was detected in conjunctival secretions (he had pinkeye), and the rest 36 the result was negative. Does this mean that the coronavirus can be transmitted through tears?
“Viral infection in the secretion from the conjunctival SAC in patients with COVID-19 is relatively low, and we estimate that it is directly proportional to the stage of the disease. Patients with the severe form of the disease are likely to have a lot of viral molecules in tears,” said Liang Liang.
Researchers report that ophthalmologists must be particularly careful in the examination of people with COVID-19, because the virus can potentially be transmitted through the conjunctival secretion.