A new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong suggests that the new coronavirus is far more susceptible to human conjunctiva and upper respiratory tract than SARS, and that the eye may be an important way for humans to contract new coronary pneumonia. In the study, Chen Zhiwei, associate professor of public health at HKU Medical College, and his team compared the infection of the new coronavirus, SARS virus, H5N1 avian influenza virus and the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) virus using human upper respiratory tract and eye tissue.
The study found that the new coronavirus is far more susceptible to human conjunctiva and upper respiratory tract than SARS virus, and that the infection level of the new coronavirus is similar to that observed in the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic.
To sum up, this explains that the new coronavirus is more contagious than the SARS virus. Professor Chen Zhiwei said the study also showed that the eye could be an important way for humans to become infected with the new coronavirus.
An earlier study by the research team showed that the new coronavirus could survive for days on smooth surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and plastic. The study further suggests that infectious viruses can spread in this way if humans touch the surface of contaminated objects and wipe their eyes.
Therefore, people should avoid touching their eyes with their hands in public places, and members of the public should regularly clean their hands to prevent the accidental spread of the new coronavirus from contaminated surfaces to the eyes and nose.