COVID-19 in Cerumen—A Potential Source of Viral Spread of Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2
Over the past 12 months, information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus (or COVID-19 as it is commonly known) continues to emerge. A wealth of information appears on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021) about the virus, management, vaccines, quarantine, and new variants. A search of the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) National Center for Biotechnology Information’s database (PubMed) identified over 90,000 COVID-19 related articles already in print from around the world (NLM, 2021). Approximately 800 clinical trials examining a variety of biologics for COVID-19 intervention are also underway (all phases) worldwide (NLM ClinicalTrials.gov, 2021).
The role of audiology in the management of COVID-19 patients has emerged as survivors begin to experience a continuance of their health issues post-discharge or a late onset of medical problems. This group of patients has been referred to as COVID-19 “long-haulers.” COVID-19 survivors may also experience auditory/vestibular problems. DiSogra (2020) addresses this issue in detail and offers suggestions for ongoing monitoring.
This article will address whether COVID-19 can be found in cerumen and what precautions need to be taken with current patients and ‘long-haulers.’