The novel coronavirus is usually known to cause an infection of the lungs. The health professionals take a swab from the nasal area to detect infection. However, new research shows that the coronavirus can even infect the ear. The virus can penetrate deep into the ear and even cause hearing loss in some people.
The study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
The researchers conducted a study including only three patients of Covid-19. The patients showed the presence of coronavirus in the ear and also in a bone of the skull present near the ear.
The research team for this study is from the John Hopkins School of Medicine. The findings of this study suggest that doctors should look for coronavirus in the ears of the patients. Also, they should do a swab test in the ears of a person before doing any other medical procedure. This is to prevent a possible spread of coronavirus from the year.
The three patients involved in this study were all in their older age. The researchers took samples from the patients who died of coronavirus infection. The patients included a man and a woman aged around 60. The third patient was also a woman aged around 80 years.
The team took samples from the ears of these patients. They stored the samples in a transport media for viruses and later tested the samples. 2 patients had an infection of coronavirus in the ear or in the mastoid which is also called the middle ear.
This is not the first-ever study to discover coronavirus in the ear. Another study conducted earlier in April showed similar findings. The researchers found coronavirus infection in people caused acute otitis media. AOS is an infection of the ear which causes severe pain due to inflammation. The area of the ear behind the eardrum becomes infected and causes pain.
Another different study showed hearing loss in people with coronavirus infection. These patients had no previous history of any infection in the ear. This study involved 20 patients and all of them experienced problems in hearing after coronavirus infection.
The research team of the latest study has some guidelines for health professionals after this research. They suggest that surgeons should look for coronavirus infection in the middle ear before performing any surgeries on the ear. This can help prevent the transmission of the virus from the ear.
The authors of the study mentioned that this discovery can cause problems in ensuring biosafety measures. The equipment used during the surgery of the ear can become contaminated with the virus. Hence, it is important to test the patient for any possible infection of coronavirus in the ear.
The coronavirus has millions of cases in the US alone and it is still spreading all over the world. Although some countries are successful in flattening the curve, there are many countries still struggling with the virus. The latest studies help understand the coronavirus infection better so we can reduce the spread as much as possible. It also gives more insights into the nature of the virus.