New Delhi: A sudden spike in cases of conjunctivitis, also known as the ‘pink eye’ disease, in several parts of India has caused distress among many people, who have been grappling with this contagious eye flu. The infection can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants.
Recently, cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Vadodara, and the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh have seen an increase in conjunctivitis cases, particularly among children. The surge in cases comes as several parts of the country, including the national capital and neighbouring states, witnessed significant rainfall since the beginning of the monsoon.
Doctors at both government and private hospitals said they have been receiving cases largely from the younger population in Delhi.
Meanwhile, in response to an outbreak of Conjunctivitis in the Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh, authorities have taken precautionary measures by ordering the temporary closure of schools in the Kanubari sub-division. The move aims to curb the spread of the disease in the region.
What Is Conjunctivitis?
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Conjunctivitis is an infection or swelling in the conjunctiva, which is a thin, transparent membrane that lies over the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of your eye, according to Healthline, a website that provides health information.
Priya Singh, an ophthalmologist, told ABP News that conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva in the eye and tends to escalate during the monsoon each year. The infection appears to be widespread this time due to the continuous heavy rain and flooding in several regions, with a significant number of patients reporting the condition at OPDs.
“Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as ‘Pink eye’, is an infection of the Conjunctiva in the eye and typically increases during the monsoon every year. There have been incessant rains, and many areas have experienced floods, contributing to the widespread prevalence of the infection. Almost every second patient coming to the OPD is suffering from Conjunctivitis,” Dr Singh explained.
How Does Conjunctivitis Spread?
It spreads through direct contact with infected eye secretions or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes. Singh told ABP News that the infection is highly contagious, particularly among children, who come into close contact with each other at schools. Sharing personal items can also lead to the spread of the infection.
To stop the spread of the infection, one must avoid touching the eyes. Schoolchildren, if infected, must be isolated for 3-5 days, they are unlikely to spread the infection if treatment is proper, according to PTI. Doctors also advise frequent hand washing with soap and water to decrease the spread of infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis?
Symptoms include redness, itching, watery discharge in the eyes, congestion, photophobia, and haemorrhages in the superficial layer of the eye.
How Can Conjunctivitis Be Treated?
The management is through antibiotic eyedrops, eye ointments, topical decongestants, lubricants and some oral anti-allergic, depending upon the cause of the infection. Cold compression using icepacks may also help, PTI reported citing an expert.
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