Red Eye Out­break

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of Health urges the public to be on height­ened alert to iden­tify, con­trol and pre­vent the spread of con­junc­tivi­tis, com­monly called “red eye”. The dis­ease is highly con­ta­gious and lasts from two days to three weeks. Ear­lier this week the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (PAHO) re­ported out­breaks in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, Ba­hamas, Guade­loupe and Mar­tinique. In light of the in­creased trans­mis­sion in our neigh­bour­ing states of Mar­tinique and Guade­loupe, and con­sid­er­ing the fre­quent travel to and from th­ese states, the Min­istry in­creased sur­veil­lance and is cur­rently im­ple­ment­ing con­trol mea­sures to pre­vent the spread of the dis­ease.

Con­se­quently, the public is ad­vised to be more aware of per­sonal hy­giene habits; in par­tic­u­lar hand wash­ing, avoid con­tact with dis­charges from the eyes and/or up­per res­pi­ra­tory tracts of in­fected per­sons, and seek med­i­cal treat­ment for af­fected eyes.

Schools, nurs­eries and other in­sti­tu­tions are ad­vised to call the Epi­demi­ol­ogy Ser­vices Depart­ment to re­port cases of red eye at 468 5380 within 24 hours, and not to al­low in­fected chil­dren to at­tend school un­til they get well.

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