Documenting Ocular Findings and Conjunctival viral prevalence amongst patients with COVID-19 admitted in a tertiary COVID care hospital, Ahmedabad
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 7, Pages 1887-1891
Corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19) has been announced as a pandemic by WHO and has resulted in more than 14 million cases worldwide. Available evidence suggest respiratory and other systemic involvement of SARS-COV2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- Corona Virus 2) but very few published literature citing associated ocular manifestations. While the Mode of Transmission is well established droplet infection(size- >5-10 μm in diameter), which enters the body through mucosal surfaces such as nose and throat when in close contact(<1 m), evidences on, Conjunctiva being a mucosal membrane can possibly spread the virus through secretions is debated.
AIMS & OBJECTIVE:
Present study ails to generate evidence for isolation of Virus from conjunctival secretions using Standardized test as per GOI protocols of testing and documentation of Ocular Manifestations in patients with COVID-19 .
MATERIALS & METHODS:
Microbiological Assessment of 60 Nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR positive COVID-19 patients and Ophthalmic examination for ocular involvement was conducted amongst subjects who were admitted at Covid Care hospital in Ahmedabad and observations
were analyzed. Microbiological samples included samples from conjunctival secretions via swab were taken from both lower fornix of eye and was run through reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)in an NABL accredited lab.
Of the included 60 naso-pharyngeal swab positive COVID-19 patients, 29 (48.30%) were male and 31 (51.67%) were female with mean age of 64 years ( SD = 15.48 ). A total of 27 subjects presented with symptoms of Ocular involvement. Most common symptom was Redness (44.44%), however ophthalmic examination revealed most common sign being congestion (18.5% ). None of microbiological Conjunctival swabs were positive.
Although there is a sleek evidence regarding transmission of COVID-19 through conjunctiva, still Ophthalmologists and Optometrist should continue to adhere to all the necessary PPE while examining a patient with Ophthalmic morbidity.
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