I share with you some important eyecare-specific information, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology, related to the novel coronavirus, referred to as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The highly contagious virus can cause a severe respiratory disease known as Corona Virus Disease - 2019 (COVID-19). (My region-specific advice for South West and Western Victoria are included in red))
Background information on COVID-19:
Symptoms can appear as soon as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
The virus is believed to spread primarily via person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also could be spread if people touch an object or surface with virus present from an infected person, and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. Viral RNA has also been found in stool samples from infected patients, raising the possibility of transmission through the fecal/oral route.
There is a possibility of asymptomatic transmission. A Feb. 21 report in JAMA details a case of an asymptomatic carrier who possibly infected 5 family members despite having normal chest computed tomography (CT) findings. These reports, however, are preliminary.
What you need to know
Dr Vincent Lee,