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Is it possible to catch COVID-19 through your eyes?

COVID-19 is known to be transmitted by an infected person sneezing or coughing on you but there has been speculation about it being transmitted through the eyes as well.

The possibility was first raised by Joseph Fair, PhD, who is a virologist and who also became seriously ill with COVID-19 after he had flown on a crowded plane. While he wore both a mask and gloves, the flight attendants were not wearing any masks. Dr. Fair hypothesizes that he came in contact with the virus through his eyes since he was not wearing eye protection.

Researchers are examining the possibility of transmitting the virus through the eyes. While there has yet to be conclusive evidence, researchers say that it is within the realm of possibility. The virus is most commonly shared through the mouth and nasal passages and transmission through the eyes would not be a common method.

The CDC has not issued any recommendations regarding the use of protective eyewear for the general public but it is recommended for healthcare workers.

 

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