Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, suggested Wednesday that Americans consider wearing goggles or an eye shield in addition to face masks to ensure more complete protection against the coronavirus.
“If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” he said in an interview with ABC News on Instagram Live Wednesday.
While eye protection isn’t “universally recommended” at this time, he said it could become a standard recommendation “if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci to @DrJAshton: "If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it. It's not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can." https://t.co/SJPZn8fN6F pic.twitter.com/Ml87aBuclI
— ABC News (@ABC) July 29, 2020
“You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye,” he continued. “Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommends wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth in public, the virus can also enter through the eyes.
“If you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can,” he said, noting that the reason eyewear hasn’t been recommended yet is “it’s so easy for people to just make a cloth mask.”
Heading into the fall, which health experts have warned may be “one of the most difficult times that we have experienced in American public health” as COVID-19 and influenza converge, Fauci is encouraging people to get vaccinated against the flu.
He hopes face masks will protect from the flu as well as the coronavirus, ABC reported.