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Fauci suggests wearing goggles, eye shields as extra protection from COVID-19

'If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,' Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

WASHINGTON — The nation's top infectious disease expert said that Americans should consider wearing goggles or a face shield as an added layer of protection from COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci made the comments during an Instagram Live interview Wednesday with ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton. 

"If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it," Fauci said. 

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made the comments after being asked if he thought eye protection would eventually be recommended. 

Fauci discussed protecting mucosa surfaces, moist tissue that lines the inside of the human body. 

"You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye," he told ABC News. "Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosa surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it." 

Fauci added that eye protection isn't universally recommended, but said it should be used if "you really want to be complete."

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The United States has more than 4.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 8:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, the country had more than 151,000 deaths from the coronavirus. Worldwide, there are more than 17 million confirmed cases with over 671,000 deaths.

Credit: AP
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)