The sickest all had red eyes, says nurse on front lines of coronavirus pandemic

The sickest all had red eyes, says nurse on front lines of coronavirus pandemic
A telltale signal of COVID-19?

By Mike Moffitt, SFGATE

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  • Crimson pores and skin across the eyes is perhaps an indication of COVID-19, in response to a nurse who handled sufferers through the coronavirus outbreak on the Life Care Heart in Kirkland, Wash., in February-March 2020.

    Crimson pores and skin across the eyes is perhaps an indication of COVID-19, in response to a nurse who handled sufferers through the coronavirus outbreak on the Life Care Heart in Kirkland, Wash., in February-March 2020.

    Photograph: Heidijpix/Getty Pictures

Photograph: Heidijpix/Getty Pictures

Crimson pores and skin across the eyes is perhaps an indication of COVID-19, in response to a nurse who handled sufferers through the coronavirus outbreak on the Life Care Heart in Kirkland, Wash., in February-March 2020.

Crimson pores and skin across the eyes is perhaps an indication of COVID-19, in response to a nurse who handled sufferers through the coronavirus outbreak on the Life Care Heart in Kirkland, Wash., in February-March 2020.

Photograph: Heidijpix/Getty Pictures

A veteran registered nurse who handled COVID-19 sufferers in Washington state mentioned the sickest all appeared to have one factor in frequent — redness across the eyes.

“It is one thing that I witnessed in all of them. They’ve, like … allergy eyes. The white a part of the attention is just not purple. It is extra like they’ve purple eye shadow on the skin of their eyes,” Chelsey Earnest instructed CNN on Monday.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention at the moment does listing conjunctivitis or eye redness as a symptom of COVID-19.

Earnest was working on the Life Care Heart in Kirkland in late February when the novel coronavirus rampaged by the nursing dwelling within the early levels of the pandemic. A minimum of 37 deaths are linked to the COVID-19 outbreak there. The typical age of the deceased was 80.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) on Tuesday up to date an alert warning that, based mostly on a number of stories, SARS-CoV-2 could trigger a “gentle follicular conjunctivitis in any other case indistinguishable from different viral causes, and probably be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva.”

Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pinkeye, is an irritation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that covers the entrance of the attention and contours the within of the eyelids. It can also trigger the pores and skin across the eyes to turn into itchy and redden.

The AAO suggested ophthalmologists with sufferers who exhibit signs of conjunctivitis, shortness of breath, fever and cough to put on protecting gear together with overlaying their mouth, nostril and eyes.

Earnest mentioned on the Life Care Heart, purple eyes grew to become essentially the most dependable signal {that a} affected person had contracted the illness.

“I’ve even had the catastrophe medical management doctor say, ‘Have they got the purple eyes?’ And I’ll say sure. And he’ll say, ‘I am going to discover you a mattress.’ It is simply one thing about this, the best way that it impacts these sufferers,” she mentioned within the CNN interview.

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Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. E-mail: moffitt@sfgate.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate

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