A staff member works at the health and quarantine comprehensive laboratory of Sichuan International Travel Health Care Center (Chengdu Customs Port Outpatient Department), in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan, Feb. 15, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Chinese researchers have recently found the novel coronavirus in tears and conjunctival secretions from one patient infected with the virus.
A research team from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine conducted a study on samples collected from 30 patients who were confirmed to be infected with novel coronavirus from Jan. 26 to Feb. 9 at the hospital.
Among them, two samples of tear and conjunctival secretions obtained from one patient with conjunctivitis tested positive for the new virus, while 58 samples from other patients showed negative results.
Shen Ye, deputy head of the hospital, said that through antiviral treatment, the patient's conjunctivitis has improved with negative results in the eyes.
The study suggests that there is a risk of coronavirus transmission via eyes, and the respiratory tract may not be the only way to spread the virus, Shen said. It also reminds medical staff should also wear goggles, besides masks, when examining suspected cases.