Researchers widely believe that COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic, is transmitted person-to-person, largely via respiratory droplets from coughs, sneezes and talking. A new study suggests it can also be transmitted through the eyes from the ACE-2 protein.
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed and is posted on the bioxriv repository, notes that oculuar cells, including conjunctiva, “are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2.”
“…[T]hese results indicate that ocular surface cells including conjunctiva are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and could therefore serve as a portal of entry as well as a reservoir for person-to-person transmission of this virus,” the researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Yat-Sen University in China wrote in the study. “This highlights the importance of safety practices including face masks and ocular contact precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19 disease.”