NBC doctor who claimed to have caught the virus on a plane through his eyeball says he never got it

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A television doctor who believed he had caught a coronavirus through his eyes on an airplane and found himself fighting for his life in the hospital, tested negative for COVID-19, he confirmed.

Dr. Joseph Fair, an infectious disease expert who has spent his life studying deadly viruses, including Ebola, has documented his struggle on social media and on NBC, where he works as a contributor.

The 42-year-old said he had been seriously ill because of something, but it was not COVID-19.

His illness “remains an undiagnosed mystery,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Dr. Joseph Fair, pictured June 17, flew to New Orleans on April 24 when he believed he was infected

On Tuesday, he tweeted that his illness was apparently not caused by COVID-19

On Tuesday, he tweeted that his illness was apparently not caused by COVID-19

“I had a myriad of COVID symptoms, I was hospitalized in a COVID service and treated for COVID-related comorbidities, despite a negative nasal swab test,” he said.

“I was seriously ill for 2 weeks, including 4 days in critical condition, which resulted in pneumonia, diffuse lung damage and 18 pounds of weight loss. “

He said he would now have a second antibody test to confirm the results and work with other specialists to find out the source of his infection.

Her doctor ordered another antibody test from another manufacturer to confirm the negative result.

Infectious disease expert said he was incredibly sick in May with an unknown condition

Infectious disease expert said he was incredibly sick in May with an unknown condition

Fair will also meet with a pulmonologist and a doctor of tropical medicine again, as he has spent time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“My way forward is a second AB test and follow-up with a pulmonologist and a specialist in tropical medicine in order to diagnose what made me so sick,” he said.

Fair believes he contracted an illness on a plane to New Orleans on April 24.

He said he took all possible precautions – wear a mask and gloves, wipe the area around him – but the passengers were “packed like sardines”.

“Instinctively, I probably should have gotten off the flight when I saw this,” he told NBC’s Today.

He concluded that he had caught a virus in his eyes.

“Obviously, you can still understand it through your eyes,” he said.

Fair announced that he was in hospital on May 13, tweeting that he believed it was COVID-19

Fair announced that he was in hospital on May 13, tweeting that he believed it was COVID-19

Fair spoke on Today's May 14 program about her hospital bed, describing her ordeal

Fair spoke on Today’s May 14 program about her hospital bed, describing her ordeal

42-year-old man hospitalized in critical oxygen-dependent condition

42-year-old man hospitalized in critical oxygen-dependent condition

CORONAVIRUS INFECTION THROUGH EYES

Scientists have claimed that the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after discovering that they contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells.

A team was led by Lingli Zhou of the Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore analyzed ten human post-mortem eyes of people who did not die from COVID-19 for expression of ACE2 (angiotensin 2 converting enzyme).

They discovered that the eyes produce ACE-2, which makes it a target for the virus.

Scientists have claimed that the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after discovering that they contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells.  In the photo: a health worker in Ukraine

Scientists have claimed that the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after discovering that they contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells. In the photo: a health worker in Ukraine

Scientists have found that ACE-2 is expressed in the cornea (A and B, enlarged in C) and the limb (E, enlarged in F), which is the boundary between the cornea and the white of the eye.

Scientists have discovered that ACE-2 is expressed in the cornea (A and B, enlarged in C) and the limb (E, enlarged in F), which is the boundary between the cornea and the white of the eye.

ACE-2 is considered the entry point of the virus. Its spiky surface binds to the receptors and from there infects the cell and replicates.

The coronavirus – scientifically called SARS-CoV-2 – locks onto the ACE-2 receptors, known as the “gateway” to cells inside the body.

These receptors are found in the airways and lungs, where the virus first infiltrates cells, as well as other organs.

ACE-2 receptors have a shape that matches the outside of the coronavirus, effectively providing it with a gateway into the bloodstream, scientists say.

ACE-2 receptors have a shape that matches the outside of the coronavirus, effectively providing it with a gateway into the bloodstream, scientists say.

It is suggested that a person with more ACE-2 receptors may be more sensitive to a large viral load – the first infectious dose of a virus – entering their bloodstream.

The team also looked for TMPRSS2, an enzyme that facilitates viral entry after binding of the viral protein to ACE2.

Both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 must be present in the same cell for the virus to replicate effectively.

Dr. Zhou noted that viral particles can be found in tears which “could cause transmission to other people”.

This means that if sneezing or coughing droplets from an infected person were to land on the surface of the eye, the virus could start to infiltrate cells.

This may explain why 30% of patients have suffered from conjunctivitis – an inflammation of the eye that makes it red and infected.

“You know, this is one of the three known ways of getting this infection to which we don’t pay much attention. We tend to focus on the nose and mouth, as this is the most common route.

“The droplets that land on your eyes are just as contagious and of course, I was not wearing glasses during the flight.

FAIR FIGHT

24 avril: Fair flies from New York to New Orleans.

Around April 28: Fair is starting to feel bad.

Around May 5: The symptoms of Fair’s flies progress to a “sort of pneumonia on foot”.

May 13: Just tweets that he’s in the hospital with COVID-19.

May 14: The doctor appears on the NBC Today program to discuss his condition and explain that he thinks he caught COVID through his eyes.

May 15: Just on the show again, saying that he “breathes almost normally” and can walk.

May 18: Fair leaves the hospital.

May 19: Fair updates the show, saying it is slowly improving.

July 7: Fair says he has no antibodies to COVID, so his doctors don’t know what made him so sick.

Fair is certain that he caught something on the plane because he went straight home but developed symptoms three to four days later, which is typical of infections.

He said it looked like a moderately severe flu during the first week, but after four days, he realized that he had developed a “sort of pneumonia on foot” – a secondary infection caused by the virus.

Fair said the pneumonia gradually worsened over the course of a few days.

A week after feeling the first symptoms, he was only able to breathe about a quarter of the air he was trying to suck in, he said.

Fair said that when he arrived at the hospital, he chose to have a high volume of oxygen rather than being intubated, which was a last resort.

Fair was tested for coronavirus four times during his hospital stay, and each time he returned negative.

The doctor, who usually ran up to 16 kilometers a day before falling ill, urged the youth to be careful and used himself as an example of someone in good physical health who could be seriously affected.

“I was a very healthy person,” he said.

‘I can run. I exercise five to six days a week.

“And if it can make me fall, it can bring anyone down.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you. But it’s really – you don’t want to have it. That’s all I can tell you.

“And you don’t want to pass it on to anyone who is at high risk at some point. “

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