There are several articles making the rounds about the link between "pink eye" and COVID-19. While it is true that COVID-19 can cause a mild form of conjunctivitis, this is not a primary symptom of this virus, and only occurs in 1-3% of people who tested positive. "Pink eye" is a common term for bacterial conjunctivitis (not viral or allergic) and is often used incorrectly. True bacterial conjunctivitis is rare in healthy adults and usually occurs in children as they do not have the antibodies yet to fight off the common strains of bacteria responsible for it.
If you think you have conjunctivitis and you also have a fever, have respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath, or you or someone you live with have recently traveled internationally or domestically to any areas with known outbreaks, then this could be a manifestation of COVID-19. In such cases, please call your local ER or other hospital-based facility equipped to evaluate for, and manage, COVID-19.
Again, conjunctivitis in itself does not mean that you have COVID-19. In our area of Mississippi, allergic conjunctivitis is very prevalent this time of year, as it is every year. If you need your allergy drops refilled or if you need an OTC suggestion, please call our office and we will be happy to assist.
While reading the many articles that are being published, beware of the "headline grab" that some publications employ, and always read the article fully to make sure the information is from a credible source and also accurate before posting or sharing. Please continue to practice social distancing and only leave your house for truly essential items. Together, we can help "flatten the curve" and protect all the people of our community.