Con­junc­tivi­tis warn­ing for par­ents ahead of school re­open­ing

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The most com­mon causes of con­junc­tivi­tis are viruses and bac­te­ria. In the case of Saint Lu­cia, the Caribbean Pub­lic Health Agency (CARPHA) has con­firmed that en­terovirus was iso­lated in vi­ral swabs that were taken from the eye se­cre­tions of per­sons with the dis­ease. Vi­ral and bac­te­rial con­junc­tivi­tis is very con­ta­gious and can spread eas­ily from per­son to per­son.

Lo­cally, there has been a de­crease in the num­ber of cases re­ported al­though the south of the is­land con­tin­ues to re­port the high­est num­bers. How­ever, with the re­open­ing of school next week it is pos­si­ble that small out­breaks may oc­cur in schools if chil­dren with the dis­ease are sent to school.

Per­sons sus­pected of hav­ing con­junc­tivi­tis may ex­pe­ri­ence eye symp­toms such as red­ness, ir­ri­ta­tion, itch­i­ness, pro­duc­tion of ex­ces­sive tears, clear or yel­low dis­charge that may make the eye­lids stick to­gether, es­pe­cially on morn­ings, and swelling of the eye lids.

In or­der to re­duce the risk of get­ting con­junc­tivi­tis or spread­ing it to some­one else, mem­bers of the pub­lic are ad­vised to avoid close con­tact with per­sons who are ill with con­junc­ti­val symp­toms, avoid touch­ing eyes/face with dirty hands, and to wash hands of­ten with soap and wa­ter. If soap and wa­ter is not avail­able, use an al­co­hol-based hand-san­i­tizer. Be sure to dis­in­fect fre­quent­ly­touched sur­faces in com­mon ar­eas such as door­knobs and counter-tops.

It is not ad­vis­able to share per­sonal items such as pil­lows, wash­cloths, tow­els, eye drops, eye make-up, face make-up, make-up brushes, con­tact lenses and con­tact lens con­tain­ers, or eye­glasses.

If you are in­fected, avoid us­ing make-up and ap­pli­ca­tors, (for ex­am­ple brushes and sponges). Be sure to wash hands well be­fore and af­ter clean­ing your in­fected eye. Once the in­fec­tion goes away, it is im­por­tant to avoid re-in­fec­tion. Get rid of dis­pos­able con­tact lenses and cases that you used while your eyes were in­fected.

Man­age­ment con­sists of symp­to­matic treat­ment as there is no rec­om­mended treat­ment for vi­ral con­junc­tivi­tis. The in­fec­tion is ex­pected to run a course of 5-7 days. Steroid eye drops should not be used as they can cause fur­ther dam­age to the eye.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.