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Do Slit-Lamp Shields and Face Masks Protect Ophthalmologists amidst COVID-19?

      Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted primarily via respiratory droplets, contact with contaminated surfaces, or free-floating aerosols.
      • Burki T.K.
      Coronavirus in China.
      ,
      • van Doremalen N.
      • Bushmaker T.
      • Morris D.H.
      • et al.
      Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.
      The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the use of surgical masks and commercially available slit-lamp shields (Breath Shields; Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany).
      American Academy of Ophthalmology
      Important coronavirus updates for ophthalmologists.
      However, a lack of evidence exists regarding the true efficacy of slit-lamp shields. We attempted to replicate the spread of infected aerosols and large droplets in the clinical setting of a slit-lamp examination to evaluate the efficacy of protective equipment in reducing the risk of viral transmission.
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      References

        • Burki T.K.
        Coronavirus in China.
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        • Morris D.H.
        • et al.
        Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.
        N Engl J Med. 2020; 382: 1564-1567
        • American Academy of Ophthalmology
        Important coronavirus updates for ophthalmologists.
        (Accessed 15.04.20)
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        Transmission routes of respiratory viruses among humans.
        Curr Opin Virol. 2018; 28: 142-151
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      1. Ma QX, Shan H, Zhang HL, et al. Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2. J Med Virol. 2020; Mar 31. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25805. Online ahead of print.