Cookies

Like most websites The Ophthalmologist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Subspecialties Comprehensive, Health Economics and Policy

All Eyes on Coronavirus

A recent Lancet study has stated that transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) through the ocular surface must not be ignored (1). The statement comes after the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) issued an alert on January 28 suggesting the virus can cause conjunctivitis and is possibly transmitted via aerosol contact with the conjunctiva – increasing the likelihood that ophthalmologists will be the first healthcare providers to evaluate patients potentially infected with COVID-19 (2).

The novel coronavirus is "not as deadly as [...] SARS and MERS," according to the WHO (3), but despite the lower case fatality rate, it has already resulted in more deaths than SARS and MERS combined (4). There are currently 2,462 recorded fatalities, including whistleblowing ophthalmologist Li Wenliang.

The AAO has recommended protection for the mouth, nose – and eyes – when caring for potentially infected patients.

As of February 23, there were 78,811 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 1,769 of these outside of China, and the total death toll stands at 2,462.

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to gain full unlimited access to all content on the The Ophthalmologist site. It’s FREE and always will be!

Login

Or register now - it’s free and always will be!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine
Register

Or Login via Social Media

By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.

  1. Cheng-wei Lu et al., “2019-nCoV transmission through the ocular surface must not be ignored”, The Lancet, (2013). Available at: bit.ly/2UK0LRL
  2. AAO, “Alert: Important coronavirus context for ophthalmologists”, (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/39ukbON
  3. World Health Organization, "Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV)". Available at: https://bit.ly/2T8IcUV
  4. E Mahase, "Coronavirus covid-19 has killed more people than SARS and MERS combined, despite lower case fatality rate", BMJ, 368 (2020). PMID: 32071063.

About the Author

Lauren Robertson

Deputy Editor at The Ophthalmologist.

Newsletter

Send me the latest from The Ophthalmologist.

Sign up now

Most Popular

Register to The Ophthalmologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine

Register