Eyes can be infected by COVID-19: 4 things to know

Authors: Gabrielle Masson – Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 Print 

Cells in the eye can be directly infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to findings published May 17 by ScienceDirect. 

Below are four things to know about COVID-19 infections of the eye:

1. Researchers exposed adult human eyes to SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro stem cell model and then studied them after 24 hours. The virus is able to infect surface cells of the eye, the researchers found. Ocular surface cells, particularly the limbus, were particularly susceptible to infection, while the central cornea was less vulnerable.

2. Researchers are currently trying to determine if the virus can be spread through the eyes, Timothy Blenkinsop, PhD, study author and assistant professor of cell, developmental and regenerative biology at New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System, told Becker’s. While aerosol transmission is thought to be the primary route of spread, viral particles detected in ocular fluid suggest the eye may be a vulnerable point of viral entry. However, scientists don’t have evidence to back the theory up yet, in part because it is difficult to develop experiments where nasal infections don’t complicate the results. 

3. To prevent the transmission of COVID-19, people in dense areas that aren’t well ventilated would benefit from eye protection. Front-line providers should definitely have eye protection, Dr. Blenkinsop said, which is already fairly standard in the U.S.  

4. Other studies have found a significant number of patients with severe COVID-19 experience abnormal nodules of the eye. Three recent reports showed retinal findings, such as hemorrhages, cotton wool spots, dilated veins or tortuous vessels, are possibly tied to COVID-19.

Late Complications of COVID-19; a Systematic Review of Current Evidence

Authors: SeyedAhmad SeyedAlinaghi,1Amir Masoud Afsahi,2Mehrzad MohsseniPour,1Farzane Behnezhad,3Mohammad Amin Salehi,1Alireza Barzegary,4Pegah Mirzapour,1Esmaeil Mehraeen,5,* and Omid Dadras6



COVID-19 is a new rapidly spreading epidemic. The symptoms of this disease could be diverse as the virus can affect any organ in the body of an infected person. This study aimed to investigate the available evidence for long-term complications of COVID-19.


This study was a systematic review of current evidence conducted in November 2020 to investigate probable late and long-term complications of COVID-19. We performed a systematic search, using the keywords, in online databases including PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Up to Date, and Web of Science, to find papers published from December 2019 to October 2020. Peer-reviewed original papers published in English, which met the eligibility criteria were included in the final report. Addressing non-human studies, unavailability of the full-text document, and duplicated results in databases, were characteristics that led to exclusion of the papers from review.


The full-texts of 65 articles have been reviewed. We identified 10 potential late complications of COVID-19. A review of studies showed that lung injuries (n=31), venous/arterial thrombosis (n=28), heart injuries (n=26), cardiac/brain stroke (n=23), and neurological injuries (n=20) are the most frequent late complications of COVID-19.

For More Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927752/

Thrombocytopenia following Pfizer and Moderna SARS‐CoV‐2 vaccination

Authors: Eun‐Ju Lee, 1 Douglas B. Cines, 2 Terry Gernsheimer, 3 Craig Kessler, 4 Marc Michel, 5 Michael D. Tarantino, 6 John W. Semple, 7 Donald M. Arnold, 8 Bertrand Godeau, 5 Michele P. Lambert, 9 , 10 and James B. Bussel 11

Cases of apparent secondary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) after SARS‐CoV‐2 vaccination with both the Pfizer and Moderna versions have been reported and reached public attention. Public alarm was heightened following the death of the first identified patient from an intracranial hemorrhage, which was reported on the Internet, then in USA Today 1 and then in The New York Times. 2 Described below, we have collected a series of cases of very low platelet counts occurring within 2 weeks of vaccination in order to enhance our understanding of the possible relationship, if any, between SARS‐CoV‐2 vaccination and development of ITP with implications for surveillance and management.

Twenty case reports of patients with thrombocytopenia following vaccination, 17 without pre‐existing thrombocytopenia and 14 with reported bleeding symptoms prior to hospitalization were identified upon review of data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), published reports, 3 and via direct communication with patients and treating providers. These cases were investigated as suspicious for new onset, post‐vaccination secondary ITP; we could not exclude exacerbation of clinically undetected ITP. Search terms relating to “decreased platelet count”, “immune thrombocytopenia”, “hemorrhage”, “petechiae”, and “contusion” were utilized to identify cases reported in VAERS.

The reports describing 19 of 20 patients included age (range 22–73 years old; median 41 years) and gender (11 females and 8 males). Nine received the Pfizer vaccine and 11 received the Moderna vaccine. All 20 patients were hospitalized and most patients presented with petechiae, bruising or mucosal bleeding (gingival, vaginal, epistaxis) with onset of symptoms between 1–23 days (median 5 days) post vaccination. Platelet counts at presentation were available for all 20 cases with the majority being at or below 10 × 109/L (range 1–36 × 109/L; median 2 × 109/L).

For More Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8014568/

Hypercoagulability in COVID-19: A review of the potential mechanisms underlying clotting disorders

Authors: Walid Alam

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 has emerged as a new viral pandemic, causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) leading to a wide array of symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe respiratory failure. However, coagulation disorders have been found in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, leading to either a clotting disorder or hemorrhage. Several mechanisms attempt to explain the mechanism behind the pro-coagulant state seen with COVID-19 patients, including different receptor binding, cytokine storm, and direct viral endothelial damage. SARS-CoV-2 has also been recently found to bind to CLEC4M receptor, a receptor that participates in the clearance of von Willebrand Factor and Factor VIII. The competitive binding of SARS-CoV-2 to CLEC4M could lead to decreased clearance, and therefore a promotion of a pro-coagulative state; however, an experimental study needs to be done to prove such an association.

For More Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989108/

Clots, Strokes and Rashes: Is COVID a Disease of the Blood Vessels?

Whether it’s strange rashes on the toes or blood clots in the brain, the widespread ravages of COVID-19 have increasingly led researchers to focus on how the novel coronavirus sabotages blood vessels.

As scientists have come to know the disease better, they have homed in on the vascular system — the body’s network of arteries, veins and capillaries, stretching more than 60,000 miles — to understand this wide-ranging disease and to find treatments that can stymie its most pernicious effects.

Some of the earliest insights into how COVID-19 can act like a vascular disease came from studying the aftermath of the most serious infections. Those reveal that the virus warps a critical piece of our vascular infrastructure: the single layer of cells lining the inside of every blood vessel, known as the endothelial cells or simply the endothelium.

For More Information: https://khn.org/news/clots-strokes-and-rashes-is-covid-a-disease-of-the-blood-vessels/