We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Scientists have found that the SARS virus can be present in infected people's tears. The researchers at Singapore's National University warn that their discovery suggests the virus might be transmitted by tears. But it could also lead to a rapid test for infection.

Last year, the scientists took samples from the tear ducts of 36 patients, eight of whom were later diagnosed as having 'probable SARS'. The virus that causes SARS was detected in the tears of three of the infected patients.

The patients in whose tears SARS was detected had all been tested within nine days of developing symptoms. But the virus was not found in the tears of five patients tested 11 days after symptoms arose. This raises the possibility that the virus may only be present in tears in the early stages of infection. It also means that a simple method of detecting SARS by testing tears could be developed.

Link to full BBC Online news story

Related topics