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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 2020More...
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
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