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Sars-Cov-2 Pandemic From The Ophthalmologist`S Perspective. A Review

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In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (CoV) epidemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from China. Coronaviruses belong to enveloped ssRNA viruses and are classified into four genera: Alpha coronavirus, Beta coronavirus, Gamma coronavirus and Delta coronavirus. It is assumed that SARS-CoV-2 is spread primarily during a personal contact via bigger respiratory droplets. These droplets with viruses can be directly inhaled by other people or can lend on the surfaces with the possibility of further spreading. The ocular surface has been suggested as one of possible infection entries. Human eye has its own renin-angiotensin system with present ACE2 receptors, which bind the virus through spike protein. The most common symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection are fever, cough and dyspnoea. Several clinical entities, such as conjunctivitis, anterior uveitis, retinitis, and optic neuritis have been associated with this infection. The most common ophthalmologic symptom associated with COVID-19 disease is conjunctivitis. Some studies indicate that eye symptoms are commonly present in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and that it is possible to detect viral RNA from the conjunctival sac of these patients.
In ophthalmologic praxis, we manage not only the therapy of the eye structures` inflammation in relation with this infection, but also the overall management of the visits and the supervision of the patients who are at risk and positive for coronavirus. Ophthalmologists could potentially have a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to personal communication with the patients, frequent exposure to tears and eye secrets and the use of devices. We would like to provide an ophthalmologist`s perspective on this topic.