First it nailed UFC middleweight fighter Andrew Sanchez, and now our very own Keenan Cornelius. (Also about a half dozen of his New York training partners at temporary home base Renzo Gracie BJJ, allegedly.)
“It” would be super-contagious EKC, aka epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, which is basically viral pinkeye but on steroids. And with ADCC a week away, that’s miserable news for one of the world’s top grapplers.
Cornelius took to the social medias wearing sunglasses to issue what may be the only celebrity athlete conjunctivitis PSA ever, chastising whoever it was who rolled into Renzo’s with red and watery eyes and starts what sounds like a mild epidemic of one of the more virulent gym scourges out there:
For the record, EKC is a red belt in being an infection. When they say “highly contagious,” they mean not only transmittable through tears and eye secretions (or sweat dripping into your eyes and then down your face and then onto the mats or your training partner’s face) but also potentially airborne respiratory droplets (as seen in this highly scientific reenactment), meaning just exhaling in a training partner’s face may be enough to spread it. The virus causes painful inflammation of the cornea, burning, tearing, discharge from the eyes, itching, and visual impairments. In the worst cases, it can cause partial sight loss for weeks or months. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 30 days if not properly obliterated with antimicrobials or, say, a bazooka.
EKC was suspected when Andrew Sanchez had to pull out of UFC Vancouver unexpectedly after being denied medical clearance to fight because ugh:
The initial “oh god why, ew” phase of EKC can last 2-3 weeks even if the infected does everything “right,” and with seven days on the ADCC countdown clock Cornelius polled Instausers for a good ophthalmologist. He’s not out of the competition yet, but it’s possible that medical clearance could be denied if the infection persists given its highly communicable nature.
Hopefully someone referred him to a good integrative/functional specialist, since integrative, functional, and some naturopathic practitioners have been using dilutions of iodine to speed recovery in EKC and similar viral infections for years–and have recently seen their hippie tactics getting validated and now embraced by allopathic practitioners as research improves. (That’s not medical advice, PS, don’t sue me.)