Published time: 01 September 2004
Authors: S-C Loon, S C B Teoh, L L E Oon, S-Y Se-Thoe, A-E Ling, Y-S Leo, H-N Leon
This is the first case series reported with the detection of the SARS coronavirus from tears, and has important implications for the practice of ophthalmology and medicine. The ability to detect and isolate the virus in the early phase of the disease may be an important diagnostic tool for future patients and tear sampling is both simple and easily repeatable. Many healthcare workers are in close proximity to the eyes of patients and this may be a source of spread among healthcare workers and inoculating patients. Ophthalmic practices may need to change as more stringent barrier methods, appropriate quarantine, and isolation measures are vital when managing patients with SARS.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in tears