24 August, 2020
COVID-19 – Preliminary Clinical Guidelines for Ophthalmology Practices
Authors: Reza Gharebaghi,Jordan Desuatels,Majid Moshirfar, Maryam Parvizi,Seyed-Hashem Daryabari, and Fatemeh Heidary
The zoonotic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its resultant human coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recently appeared as a global health threat that can cause severe respiratory infection and terminal respiratory distress. By the first week of April, more than 1.3 million people had been globally infected and more than 70,000 had lost their lives to this contagious virus.
Clinical manifestations occur shortly after exposure, or a few days later. There is controversy regarding the transmission of the virus through the tear and conjunctiva; however, there are reports that the ocular surface might be a potential target for COVID-19. The ease of transmission of this virus at close proximity presents a risk to eyecare workers. Several recommendations have been issued by local and national organizations to address the issue of safe ophthalmic practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines have numerous similarities; however, subtle differences exist. The purpose of this paper was to discuss measures, with a specific focus on standard precautions, to prevent further dissemination of COVID-19 at Eye Clinics. We have proposed procedures to triage suspected cases of COVID-19, considering emergency conditions.