Episcleritis as a possible presenting sign of the novel coronavirus disease: A case report.
In this report, we describe a case of episcleritis that appeared to be the first sign of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A 29-year-old man with no prior medical condition presented with a complaint of redness and foreign body sensation in his left eye, which started two days before his consultation. He had no history of decreased vision, pain, photophobia, discharge, ocular surgery, or trauma. He had no symptoms in his fellow eye nor did he have any systemic symptoms. External examination of his left eye revealed a sectoral nasal conjunctival and episcleral injection and a clear cornea. There was no scleral edema. A diagnosis of episcleritis was made based on clinical grounds and topical fluorometholone 0.1%. was started. Three days later, the patient presented with headache, shortness of breath, cough, and fever (39.2 °C). Real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction test of his nasopharyngeal swab returned a positive result for COVID-19. The patient was then admitted for observation and supportive therapy. After five days, fever, respiratory and ocular symptoms were markedly improved and the patient was discharged and advised to isolate at home for 14 days. This is the first report that describes episcleritis as a possible presenting sign of COVID-19. Understanding the association between ocular signs/symptoms and COVID-19 can aid in the diagnosis of the viral infection and can help in limiting its transmission.