The veteran registered nurse started her own mental checklist: cough, rapid breathing and the red eyes — all the sickest patients seemed to have the red eyes. For Chelsey Earnest it was the eyes that became the single most important sign as she and other staff at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, struggled with the new coronavirus that was sweeping the nursing home even before it became feared across the country.
“It’s something that I witnessed in all of them (the patients). They have, like … allergy eyes. The white part of the eye is not red. It’s more like they have red eye shadow on the outside of their eyes,” Earnest said. The American Academy of Ophthalmology sent an alert to its members Sunday evening that there are reports Covid-19 can lead to conjunctivitis — which can lead to a reddening of and around the eyes. It warned ophthalmologists to protect their mouth, nose and eyes when seeing patients who could be infected.
Eye issues are not on the list of symptoms being circulated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that stresses a high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, though the list is not all-inclusive. Earnest tracked those symptoms, too. But for her and her colleagues at the Life Care Center and admitting doctors at a nearby hospital, the eyes became a sign that coronavirus had struck, she told CNN. “We’ve had patients that just had the red eyes as the only symptom that we saw and go to the hospital and pass away,” she said. “I’ve even had the disaster medical control physician say, ‘Do they have the red eyes?’ And I will say yes. And he’ll say, ‘I’ll find you a bed.’ It’s just something about this, the way that it affects these patients.” –CNN
Lingers on surfaces for 17 days: Traces of new coronavirus were found on surfaces in cruise-ship cabins for as many as 17 days after passengers left, researchers said, though it wasn’t possible to determine whether they caused any infections. Researchers looked at the rooms of infected passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, both those who showed symptoms and those who didn’t, according to a study Monday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The ship, operated by Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises, had more than 700 coronavirus cases. It was quarantined for a time off of Yokohama, Japan, and was the largest outbreak outside of mainland China at one point.
A previous analysis found that the virus remained viable on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, although levels fell dramatically over time. It was less stable on copper, where no viable virus was found after 4 hours, and cardboard, which was clean after 24 hours, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The latest study looked at uncleaned rooms, but other research has found that cleaning the rooms of Covid-19 patients was highly effective at killing the virus.
Art imitating life: Ironically, in the 1995 movie Outbreak the Motaba Virus epidemic began in the state of Washington – which is exactly where the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic started in the U.S. in 2020
Coronavirus has forced the U.S. cruise industry to shut down after a series of outbreaks at sea, and policymakers are looking for clues about the safety of the vessels going forward. The episodes have caused cruise line stocks to crater. The industry has been hurt in the past by outbreaks of norovirus, sometimes called stomach flu. The CDC report also said that passengers on the Diamond Princess mainly spread the virus before the ship went into quarantine, but infections among the crew peaked afterward. On a separate Princess Cruises ship, the Grand Princess, crew members probably got the virus on an earlier voyage and then passed it on to passengers, according to the study. –MSN