Case Report: Keratoconjunctivitis as the initial medical presentation of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Short communication|Articles in Press from the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology


We present a case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with an initial medical presentation of keratoconjunctivitis, the first such reported case in North America. The patient’s primary symptom was a red eye with watery discharge, though she did have mild respiratory symptoms, without fever. She was diagnosed with keratoconjunctivitis; evolving corneal findings were characterized through repeat visits to ophthalmology. A conjunctival swab of the affected eye was positive for the SAR-CoV-2 virus. This case emphasizes the importance of ensuring that first-line health care providers, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, emergency physicians, and family physicians, consider COVID-19 on the differential for any patient with recent travel who presents with acute conjunctivitis. Having a high index of suspicion with this presentation would allow for appropriate precautions to be taken to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

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Read the full case report published on the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO) .