Up to 1-3 percent of people with COVID-19 can develop conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, a mucous membrane covering the inside of the eyelids. The inflammation makes the eye red, itchy and swollen. According to the World Health Organization, a person can contract COVID-19 by inhaling aerosols or droplets containing the virus. In addition, one may contract conjunctivitis from COVID-19 if the virus particle directly enters the eyes, nose or mouth.
Some people have reported developing conjunctivitis after contracting COVID-19. To assess the presence of pink eye in patients with COVID-19, researchers examined 1167 individuals. They found that the symptom was more prevalent in severe than non-severe COVID-19 patients. Around 3 percent of severe patients developed conjunctivitis compared with only 0.7 percent of people with mild symptoms.
A sole symptom of pink eye is unlikely to be COVID-19. However, if a person develops conjunctivitis along with fever, sore throat, or shortness of breath, they should get tested for coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.