To report bilateral follicular conjunctivitis in two confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients with the presence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in conjunctival swab specimens.
Two unrelated patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and bilateral acute conjunctivitis were examined. Conjunctival swabs were assessed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and viral culture.
Both patients developed eye redness 3 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Slit lamp examination showed bilateral acute follicular conjunctivitis, which was resolved within 6 days. RT-PCR demonstrated the presence of viral RNA in conjunctival specimens from both eyes, which was unrelated to viral RNA from throat swabs.
SARS-CoV-2 may cause ocular manifestations such as viral conjunctivitis. Conjunctival sampling may be useful for infected patients with conjunctivitis and fever. Precautionary measures are recommended when examining infected patients throughout the clinical course of the infection.