If droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough were to land on the surface of your eye, then you too can become infected with coronavirus.
This is the new finding from Scientists at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The scientists found that the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after finding that the eyes contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells.
Okay, so here’s a person becomes infected. The coronavirus latches onto ACE-2 receptors, known as the ‘gateway’ into cells inside body.
These receptors are found in the respiratory tract and the lungs, which is where the virus first infiltrates cells, as well as other organs.
But the team of scientists have now found that the eyes produce ACE-2, making them a target for the virus too.
It may explain why some patients have suffered conjunctivitis – an inflammation of the eye which causes it to become red and infected.
Not only could the virus enter the body through the eyes, but tears may serve as a spread of infection, scientists said.
However, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, an enzyme that helps viral entry following binding of the viral spike protein to ACE2 must both be present in the same cell for the virus to effectively replicate.
The scientists found that TMPRSS2 was also expressed, but that finding is yet to be reviewed by other scientists.