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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 380-385

Pattern of ocular manifestations and the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 in tears of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 patients

Department Of Ophthalmology, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bhavkaran Bal
Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_40_21

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PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2 (SARSCoV2) can affect eyes in various forms. Furthermore, ocular surface can act as potential port of entry and ocular secretions as possible route of transmission of SARSCoV2. The aims of the study are to identify ocular manifestation in confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) patients and to evaluate conjunctival secretions as the possible route of transmission of this disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective, populationbased, observational study was done. Ocular symptoms and signs of every hospitalized patient with SARSCoV2 infection between September 15, 2020, and November 15, 2020, were recorded. Tear samples of the first 60 participants (30 each of patients with severe and moderate illness, can be removed) with ocular manifestations were selected for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR). Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science Software (SPSS) program, version 23. When comparing mean values, ttest was used otherwise Chisquare test. RESULTS: Out of 804 admitted patients during study period, 309 (38.4%) patients were identified with ocular manifestations, out of which 78% (241) had conjunctival hyperemia, 65.6% (203) had follicular reaction in palpebral conjunctiva, 58% (180) had chemosis, and 58% (99) had discharge and 18.4% (57) complained of burning in their eyes. Mean duration from systemic manifestation to onset of ocular symptoms was 4.52 ± 1.47 days while 8 patients (1%) had conjunctivitis as the presenting symptom. SARSCoV2 was detected in 18.3% patients (11 out of 60) using RTPCR. CONCLUSION: The presence of SARSCoV2 in ocular secretions of patients with ocular manifestations suggests that COVID19infected patients with ocular manifestations should wear protective glasses to prevent secretions contamination to healthy persons.

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