Coronavirus symptoms: Signs of COVID-19 infection may include unusual eye pain |

Coronavirus is an infectious disease which has been confirmed in more than one million individuals across the world. Eye pain could be a symptom of COVID-19, it’s been claimed, after one expert linked Google searches for “my eyes hurt” to US states with the most coronavirus cases.

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Economist and data expert Seth Stephens-Davidowitz compared Google searches for all symptoms of coronavirus with state-level disease prevalence.

“In other words, I explored the question of which symptoms are now being searched in unusually high numbers in states with unusually high rates of Covid-19,” he wrote in the New York Times.

The three searches most related to the infection were loss of smell, fever and chills, he explained.

But, eye pain was the fourth-most searched symptom in some of the US’s most-affected states – ahead of other common signs of COVID-19, including diarrhoea and nasal congestion.

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Coronavirus symptoms: Signs of COVID-19 infection may include eye pain (Image: GETTY Images)

Searches for “my eyes hurt” over the past seven days were highest in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana and Michigan, he said.

The number of searches have also dramatically increased over the past two weeks, he explained.

“Such searches seem to have risen almost exclusively in parts of the country that have reached very high COVID-19 rates [although the data is fairly noisy and the rise isn’t as large as it is for some other symptoms],” he added.

“Does the Google search data really mean that eye pain is a symptom of Covid-19? Not necessarily.

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“There may be other reasons that people in these parts of the country are searching for eye pain. However, I tested alternative explanations that people suggested to me, and they did not fit the data.

“The searches do not seem to be driven by allergies; they are not related to pollen concentrations.

“Nor do they seem to be driven by people staying at home and staring at screens more; eye pain search rates do not correlate with data from cellphones that have measured recent reductions in movement.”

Google searches for eye pain also increase four times in Spain, during the middle of February and March.

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Coronavirus symptoms: Most common signs include a fever and a cough (Image: EXPRESS)

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It also rose around 50 per cent in Iran last month, while Italians searching for “burning eyes” increased five times in March.

There have been some previous reports of eye-related symptoms with coronavirus.

A third of COVID-19 patients in a Chinese study developed eye-related health conditions.

Some researchers have also suggested that pink eye could be linked to coronavirus infection.

But, eye pain, and other eye-related conditions, are yet to be officially revealed as a symptom of coronavirus.

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More common COVID-19 signs include a high fever, and developing a new, continuous cough.

Anyone that’s been coughing more than usual for longer than a one-hour period, or if they’ve had at least three coughing episodes every 24 hours, should self-isolate.

Meanwhile, the government has advised that everyone should remain at home to avoid spreading the infection.

You should only leave your home to go food or medicine shopping, for medical help, traveling to and from work – where absolutely necessary – and for one form of exercise every day.