“Now that we have proven the virus can survive in the middle ear and mastoid, professionals in our community know the threat is real and can guard against it with appropriate procedures and protective equipment.”
—C. Matthew Stewart, associate professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery and co-author of research confirming that SARS-CoV-2 can colonize the middle ear and mastoid region of the head behind the ear. Based on this, the team recommends that physicians, surgeons, nurses and other health care professionals — especially otolaryngologists — practice recommended protective procedures against SARS-CoV-2 when dealing with examination, sample collecting, treatment and surgery of these two connected areas. The physicians reported their findings in a research letter posted online on July 23 in JAMA Otolaryngology.