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Ocular Dectection of SARS-CoV-2 in 114 Cases of COVID-19 Pneumonia in Wuhan, China: An Observational Study

15 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2020

See all articles by Chaohua Deng

Chaohua Deng

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

Yang Yang

Wuhan University - Department of Ophthalmology

Huawen Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Emergency Medicine

Wei Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

Zhiqi Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

Ke Ma

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Infectious Disease

Junming Wang

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

More...

Abstract

Background: An outbreak of infectious 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia is taking place in China. Meanwhile, the extra-respiratory transmissible routes of SARS-CoV-2 remianed unclear which raised special concern from ophthalmologist. We conducted an observational study to investigate the possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the ocular conjunctival pathway.

Methods: One hundred fourteen patients with COVID-19 pneumonia from four different inpatient wards were assigned to receive the conjunctival swabs and nasopharyngeal swabs test by trained healthcare worker wearing protective equipments. The laboratory detection of SARS-CoV-2 was performed on the collected samples by real-time RT-PCR.

Findings: Of the 114 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, the mean age was 61.4 (SD 16.7) years, 76 (67%) were older than 60 years, and 62 (54%) were male. Regarding the epidemiological history, 20 (18%) once contacted with dignosed COVID-19 pneumonia patients, and only 3 (less than 3%) have ever been exposured to Huanan sea food market or relevant environment. The most common symptoms include fever (91%), cough (52%), diarrhoea (26%) and shortness of breath (25%). However, no abvious ocular symptoms were documented or noticed. 90 patients (79%) were identified as positive in the nasopharyngeal swabs test. Conjunctival swabs samples from all 114 patients revealed negative for nucleic acid detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Interpretation: No SARS-CoV-2 could be detected by RT-PCR in conjunctival swabs samples of COVID-19 pneumonia patients. Through our observational study, no ocular complications or sign of ocular transmissible routes were reported.

Funding Statement: National Natural Science Foundation of China, Tongji hospital scientific foundation

Declaration of Interests: All authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: The Ethic Committee of Tongji Hospital has approved the study and assigned informed consent was obtained from patients.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; conjunctival swabs; transmissible route

Suggested Citation

Deng, Chaohua and Yang, Yang and Chen, Huawen and Chen, Wei and Chen, Zhiqi and Ma, Ke and Wang, Junming, Ocular Dectection of SARS-CoV-2 in 114 Cases of COVID-19 Pneumonia in Wuhan, China: An Observational Study (2/19/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3543587 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3543587

Chaohua Deng

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

1239 Siping Road
Shanghai, 200092
China

Yang Yang

Wuhan University - Department of Ophthalmology

Wuhan
China

Huawen Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Emergency Medicine

Wuhan
China

Wei Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

1239 Siping Road
Shanghai, 200092
China

Zhiqi Chen

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology

1239 Siping Road
Shanghai, 200092
China

Ke Ma

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Infectious Disease ( email )

Wuhan, 430030
China

Junming Wang (Contact Author)

Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Formerly Tongi Medical University) - Department of Ophthalmology ( email )

1239 Siping Road
Shanghai, 200092
China

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