A Chinese doctor has revealed that the killer coronavirus could be spread through the eyes and that everyone must wear protective goggles as he fears he might have been infected because he wasn’t wearing one.
The coronavirus – previously unknown to science – first appeared in Wuhan, a Chinese City, last month. It originated in a meat market and scientists believe it ‘jumped the species barrier’ from snakes, which may have been on sale illegally, to humans.
The disease symptoms include fever, dry cough, which develops to Pneumonia and then death with China reporting 26 deaths already with over 800 affected leading to the Chinese government shutting down the city of Wuhan, stopping people from traveling.
Cases of the virus has already been reported in the US, Hong Kong, France and the UK,
and the World Health Organization has said the disease outbreak could soon be labelled a worldwide epidemic.
Dr Wang Guangfa, a Chinese doctor who heads the department of pulmonary medicine at Beijing’s Peking University First Hospital says he got the disease from not wearing protective goggles while visiting Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.
‘I was diagnosed and my condition is fine,’ he told Hong Kong’s Cable TV
‘It is absolutely possible the virus can enter the eyes by touching them – if it is on a patient’s hands.’
Paul Kellam, professor of virus genomics at Imperial College London, also believes Dr Wang’s statement saying it is ‘absolutely possible’ to contact the SARS like virus from the eyes.
‘If you have droplets sneezed at you, they will wash from your nose to your eye,’ he told MailOnline.
‘Your eye connects to your nose through the lacrimal duct.
‘If you suffer from allergies and if your eyes run, so will your nose. Or if you put medication in your eyes, you’ll taste at the back of your throat
‘It isn’t unusual for flu and other viruses to be transmitted this way. You can also get respiratory infections through the eye.’
Dr Michael Head, who is a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, also said;
‘Transmission would potentially be by touching the eye so the virus is on the hand, which then makes it easy to spread from one person to another.
‘Think of it like the common cold or the flu, touching nose/mouth/eyes is a way to spread them.’ He told the DailyMail.