Chennai: We are all aware of the chaos created by the coronavirus in different parts of the world which has now become a global emergency.
“Corona in Latin means crown, and this virus gets its name from there as it has a series of spikes like crown on its surface,’ says Dr Preethi Ravichander, regional head – clinical services, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Chennai.
‘Eyes might play a significant role in the spread and prevention of the corona virus outbreak threatening China and a number of other countries,” she adds.
According to Dr Preethi, “It can spread by droplet / contact / airborne source. The most common mode of transmission is through the respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing). Transmission can occur when people touch an object contaminated with virus and touch their eyes/ nose/ mouth. Transmission is also possible by aerosol contact with conjunctiva and spread through secretions of the eye as well. Thus people with conjunctivitis and respiratory symptoms in addition to recent international travel should be more cautious.”
She says patients can be carriers of infection before experiencing any of the symptoms. Virus can cause conjunctivitis, she says and adds conjunctivitis can be the very first indication of coronavirus. This increases the likelihood that the ophthalmologists may be the first providers to evaluate patients possibly infected with coronavirus.
Coronavirus causes conjunctivitis and possibly be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva — the tissue lining the inside of the eyelids.
Following simple hygiene measures will provide protection and prevent the acquisition of Corona virus or any other viral infections, the doctor says and adds: “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for atleast 20 seconds. Alcohol based sanitizer may also be used. Avoid cold beverages /cold food items. Have more of warm fluids and warm foods. Stay well hydrated Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth when your hands are dirty.”