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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

AIIMS study to track coronavirus in cornea

“We are performing viral particle analysis to find out the genetics of the virus in the tissues. The eyeballs have been carefully taken out of the patients and have been kept in a safe container,” Dr JS Titiyal, chief of the centre, told The Indian Express.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: September 8, 2021 7:43:30 am
The team at the centre has been carefully performing the study with the consent of family members of the deceased.

The RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS has initiated a study to find out the presence of the coronavirus in the corneal tissues of patients who died due to the infection. The institute has collected eyeballs of five people who died from Covid at AIIMS and of 10, who did not die from the infection but were later found to be infected with the disease.

“We are performing viral particle analysis to find out the genetics of the virus in the tissues. The eyeballs have been carefully taken out of the patients and have been kept in a safe container. The process will take a few months to get completed as it requires detailed investigation,” Dr JS Titiyal, chief of the centre, told The Indian Express.

The team at the centre has been carefully performing the study with the consent of family members of the deceased. Apart from them, the medical experts from the centre have also taken the nasopharyngeal swab of all 394 donors, of which 10 were found positive for the infection. “The tissues of these asymptomatic patients have also been sent for further analysis. The entire staff took precautions and wore PPE kits before the procedure. All the protocols laid down by the Government of India were duly followed,” added Dr Titiyal.

Cases of conjunctivitis have been reported due to Covid but none of them resulted in vision loss, said Dr Namrata Sharma of the RP Centre. “Covid-19 leads to mucormycosis and there have been cases where it has impacted vision and led to blindness. But there is no proven evidence so far that establishes this. There have been isolated cases of retinal and venus blocks that may lead to a sudden diminishing of vision due to thromboembolism. But there is no proven cause and effect relationship between them,” she added.

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