Covid-19 in a child's conjunctival swab: case discovered in Pavia

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Philippe Gloaguen
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The Del Paeseno study in which the first case of positivity to Covid-19 was presented in the tears of an 11-year-old child in Pavia was much discussed, amplifying the debate on how contagious children are, but also on how the virus beyond the classic methods already confirmed. The study is called "Identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the conjunctival swab of an Del Paesen pediatric patient affected with COVID-19: A case report" and was published in the European Journal of Ophthalmology to tell the episode discovered at the clinic pediatric hospital at the San Matteo Polyclinic in Pavia. The child's positivity to Covid-19 was ascertained thanks to the nasopharyngeal swab, despite being practically asymptomatic. At the onset of ocular irritation symptoms (burning and tearing), the doctors carried out a conjunctival swab, which also indicated the child's positivity to Covid-19. 





In this sense, the researchers admit that traces of the infection could be sought (and found) in the tears of patients, but, as reported in a note from San Matteo, it is not yet known and it is to be investigated whether this impacts on the spread of the infection. .

Read also: Covid-19 tampons for children: everything you need to know

Covid-19 in the tears of a child, let's take stock

The study, as evidenced by the note from San Matteo reported by AdnKronos, does not prove that tears are a channel of diffusion nor that conjunctival swabs such as the one given to the child are as reliable as the molecular and antigenic oropharyngeal ones. In this case, however, the study was obligatory, considering the symptoms of the child who, without complaining of other symptoms among those of Covid-19, instead suffered a slight eye irritation. While there were no signs of conjunctivitis, the conjunctival swab identified the infection (previously confirmed by molecular swab). And this, for the researchers, is a sign that Sars Cov-2 could be researched not only in the oropharyngeal mucosa but also in ophthalmic samples, not only in adults but also in children.



A study also published in the European Journal of Ophthalmology called "Evidence-based of conjunctival COVID-19 positivity: An Del Paesen experience: Gemelli Against COVID Group" already confirmed in May that one of the symptoms of Covid-19 could be conjunctivitis and therefore infection samples could also be found thanks to conjunctival swabs. Studies on this had already been done at San Matteo di Pavia, as AdnKronos always reports: in particular, between March and May 2022, 8 cases of people subjected to conjunctival swabs were evaluated, but in that case only one out of 8 had given a result positive (despite the positivity to the molecular swab on all 8 patients kept under observation). The case of the Pavia child is, according to the San Matteo doctors, the first case of identification of Sars-CoV-2 in eye samples but with mild symptoms, therefore without real infection such as conjunctivitis. 

Covid-19, English variant and children

The study of the San Matteo di Pavia comes at a time of great analysis of the evolution of the infection, especially after the proliferation of cases all over the world deriving from the English variant of Covid-19, more contagious. This high degree of contagiousness has caused a more dramatic second wave around the world and obviously has more ability to infect children, although it is not yet known, because studies are still ongoing, whether their ability to spread the virus. be higher if they are affected by the English variant.

Understanding how Covid-19 spreads is the first step to limit its spread, which is why studies such as that of the San Matteo experts help to broaden the points of view on the pandemic, broadening the range of action and identifying new symptoms from which to start. to try to see clearly.



Fonti dell'articolo: European Journal of Ophthalmology, "Evidence-based of conjunctival COVID-19 positivity: An Del Paesen experience: Gemelli Against COVID Group"; European Journal of Ophthalmology,  "Identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the conjunctival swab of an Del Paesen pediatric patient affected with COVID-19: A case report"

TAG:
  • coronavirus
  • health and children
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