Coronavirus lingered in patient’s eyes for at least 20 days, researchers say

A coronavirus patient in Italy had traces of the infectious pathogen in her eyes — long after the illness had been cleared from her nose, according to researchers.

The 65-year-old patient, who was Italy’s first confirmed case, showed signs of conjunctivitis, or pink eye, after being admitted Jan. 23 to a hospital, according to a report in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

On the third day she was at the hospital, she submitted an eye swab which found detectable levels of viral particles, the researchers said.

She continued to receive eye swabs throughout her hospital stint that determined the virus had been replicating, indicating that her eyes could be contagious, the report said.