a man looking at a phone © EPA-EFE/Mariscal

The eyes are an important route for the coronavirus into the human body, a new study has found.

Researchers in Hong Kong found that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes Covid-19, is up to 100 times more capable of replicating in the eye membrane and in the upper respiratory tract than the viruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome and bird flu.

"This explains the higher transmissibility of Covid-19 than that of Sars. This study also highlights the fact that eyes may be an important route of SARS-CoV-2 human infection," said Dr Michael Chan Chi-wai, the leader of the project at the University of Hong Kong's school of public health.

a close up of a plastic goggles © Provided by Inkstone

The study, based on laboratory tests, was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine on May 7.

It further backs up the advice against touching your eyes and for washing hands regularly to avoid infection.

It also highlights the need to provide medical workers with eye covering in addition to the use of N95 masks and protective clothing.

In late January, a renowned respiratory specialist at Peking University First Hospital, Wang Guangfa, reported that he had come down with a fever and catarrh (excessive mucus in the nose or throat) about three hours after his eye had developed conjunctivitis on his return to Beijing from Wuhan.

Wang was later confirmed with Covid-19, with his eyes suspected as the route of infection.

The Hong Kong researchers previously found the coronavirus could survive as long as seven days on stainless steel surfaces and plastic.

More Articles from Inkstone

Covid-19 forces Africa to seek mercy from its biggest creditor: China

Quarantine centers beat self-isolation in fighting coronavirus, study says

‘This is 2020’: Japan lampooned for filing Covid-19 cases by fax

‘Lonely’ Japanese eels get some face time

Trump official’s Chinese speech reaches few listeners in China

For more on China-focused articles visit inkstonenews.com (www.inkstonenews.com) or subscribe to our newsletter via inkstonenews.com/newsletter for the latest China-related stories.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article
While Asymptomatic Spread of Coronavirus Can Happen, the WHO Now Says It's "Very Rare" Next Story

Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is "very rare"


Did you find the story interesting?

Like us on Facebook to see similar stories

Send MSN Feedback

We appreciate your input!

Please give an overall site rating: