Covid: Nine-year-old boy ‘almost went blind’ after catching coronavirus and suffering rare side effect

Zac Morely lost sight in his left eye less than seven days after testing positive for Covid-19

A nine-year-old boy was nearly left blind after suffering a rare Covid-19 side effect.

Zac Morely, from Bristol, picked up a skin condition dubbed ‘Covid eye’, with some scientists linking the ailment as an uncommon side effect of contracting the virus.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

Zac’s family have now issued a warning to others about the condition after their son nearly permanently lost his eyesight.

Zac tests positive

The youngster’s issues began after he and his family members tested positive for Covid-19.

Zac, along with his four siblings and his mum, tested positive on 16 December.

Initially, he had experienced mild cold-like symptoms and began to test negative for the virus on 22 December.

However, despite testing negative twice on this date, Zac began to feel a pain in his left eye.

Zac developed orbital cellulitis after contracting Covid-19. (Credit: SWNS)

‘It was not good at all’

Zac’s mum, Angela, said that she initially thought that the pain had been caused by looking at the computer screen for long periods of time, as the young boy has spent much of his isolation period playing computer games.

She said: “I thought it was just being on the computer for seven days solid so didn’t think anything of it.

“But by Christmas Eve it was not good at all.”

Zac’s eye swelled up after contracting Covid-19. (Credit: SWNS)

Zac was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve and spent his Christmas Day in hospital, with doctors working to save his eyesight.

Angela added: “His eye looked like it was going to explode.

“There was no way he could open it without pulling the skin. It was swollen beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

Zac spent Christmas Day in hospital after contracting ‘Covid eye’. (Credit: SWNS)

Doctors gave Angela a warning that the skin infection, known as orbital cellulitis, was serious and could have major implications for Zac’s eyesight.

Angela said: “They said if it goes too far into the eye then it can cause blindness.

“The doctors said it was an allergic reaction to the virus that affects children.”

Zac’s eyesight is fully restored

Eventually, the swelling in Zac’s eye went down and, after an eye test in hospital, it was confirmed that he had regained his full eyesight.

He was discharged from hospital on Boxing Day.

Angela and her son Zac, who has now fully recovered and returned home. (Credit: SWNS)

The World Health Organisation has linked red and irritated eyes as an uncommon side effect of coronavirus, with orbital cellulitis linked as a side effect of Covid-19 in various studies.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.