Scientists have discovered coronavirus in the ears of two dead patients as studies suggest hearing loss may be a rare symptom of the infection, Your Content can report.
The new research has found that the virus can also infect the ear and the mastoid bone of the skull which is just behind the ear.
The team, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says the findings suggest that clinicians look in the ears for people who present with coronavirus symptoms, and that surgeons swab the ears before performing otology procedures.
An April 2020 study found COVID-19 induced in adults acute otitis media, a type of ear infection in which the area behind the eardrum becomes inflamed and infected.
The team of the new study recommends that people be screened for COVID-19 in the ear before undergoing middle ear procedures.
“Identification of live virus from middle ear effusions would have implications for surgeons and staff who handle equipment such as instruments, suction tubing, and suction canisters due to current CDC biosafety recommendations,” the authors wrote.
“Finally, mastoid and middle ear colonization with SARS-CoV-2 does not necessarily imply current or future otologic symptomatology.”