Jul 29, 2020 - Health

Fauci recommends eye protection to prevent contracting coronavirus

Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during a June Senate hearing in Washington, DC. Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told ABC News in an Instagram live discussing the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday evening, "If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it."

Why it matters: Eye protection is not currently included in formal guidance on COVID-19. The CDC only advises that health care workers use eye protection "in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission."

By the numbers: More than 150,000 people in the U.S. have died of the novel coronavirus and over 4.4 million have been infected as of Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins.

What they're saying: After ABC's Jennifer Ashton asked Fauci if he could envision the point where eye protection would be recommended, he replied: "It might, if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces."

  • Fauci noted that eye protection was "not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can."
  • He explained that the coronavirus infects mucosal surfaces, like the nose and mouth, along with the eyes. "Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces," Fauci added.
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