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Subspecialties Health Economics and Policy, Basic & Translational Research, Business and Innovation, COVID-19

COVID-19: Protect, Research, Treat

  • The AAO has published guidelines for ophthalmologists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which include methods of identifying patients who have potentially been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and recommended protocols when seeing patients (1).
  • A study of 30 patients diagnosed with novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCD), conducted by Zhejiang University in China, was designed to check whether tears and conjunctival secretions carried the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It showed that only the tears of one patient with conjunctivitis tested positive for the virus, 58 other patients’ samples were negative (2).
  • A review of papers presenting cases of ocular infection with known coronaviruses (CoVs) has shown that CoVs can produce various ocular symptoms, both in the anterior segment – such as conjunctivitis or anterior uveitis – and at the back of the eye – retinitis and optic neuritis (3).
  • To help clinicians deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Modernizing Medicine has announced that its telemedicine platform – modmed Telehealth – will be available free of charge to all users of the company’s HER system, EMA (4).
  • Notal Vision proposes physicians use its remote monitoring program, ForeseeHome, to monitor elderly AMD patients at risk of catching COVID-19. The program alerts practices when patients convert from dry to wet AMD, reducing the need for in-person appointments and public exposure to the virus (5).
  • The American Journal of Ophthalmology has published an In Memoriam article for Li Wenliang, the Chinese ophthalmologist who died on February 7, 2020, after reportedly contracting COVID-19 from an asymptomatic glaucoma patient he treated. The piece emphasizes the validity of Wenliang’s early clinical reports of a novel virus (6).

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  1. AAO (2020). Available at: bit.ly/2Ui0eEK.
  2. J Xia et al., J Med Virol (2020). PMID: 32100876.
  3. I Seah, R Agrawal, Ocul Immunol Inflamm, 16, 1 (2020). PMID: 32175797.
  4. Modernizing Medicine (2020). Available at: https://bit.ly/33psgSV.
  5. ForeseeHome (2020). Available at: bit.ly/3d9btYS.
  6. RK Parrish 2nd et al., Am J Ophthalmol (2020). PMID: 32169251.

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