Conjunctivitis May Be Only COVID-19 Symptom in Some

May 21, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified May 22, 2020

According to case reports on five patients in Italy, acute, non-remitting conjunctivitis may be the only presenting symptom of COVID-19 infections. In this article, Dr. Edoardo Trovato Battagliola, a resident physician at the University of Bologna in Italy and coauthor of the case reports published in IDCases, explained “Conjunctivitis per se is not a very common finding among positive subjects, but when it occurs, it generally presents with or anticipates other symptoms, such as fever, general malaise, cough. The peculiarity of our five patients was that conjunctivitis remained the only symptom and sign of infection throughout their illness.”

The doctors confirmed the diagnosis of acute conjunctivitis and advised all five of these patients to continue symptomatic therapy and moxifloxacin eye drops for five more days. Because they treated these patients during the current pandemic, they also inquired about recent travels and discovered that all five of the patients had recently traveled to Lombardy, a COVID-19 hotspot. None of the patients had fever, respiratory symptoms, or other symptoms of COVID-19. The doctors do caution how the results underscore that more research is urgently needed, and highlight the importance of eye protection for health care professionals.

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