Deccan Chronicle

Rain leads to spurt in pink eye cases

- AARTI KASHYAP I DC HYDERABAD, AUG. 1

Eye hospitals in the city are getting overcrowde­d as countless patients are reporting conjunctiv­itis infection caused by heavy rains and humid weather conditions.

Sarojini Eye Hospital had more than 2,000 patients in the last two weeks while hundreds have been queuing up in OPDS.

Dr V. Rajalingam, superinten­dent of Sarojini Eye Hospitalm told Deccan Chronicle, “The numbers have been increasing. We are seeing more than 100 conjunctiv­itis patients on a daily basis. The infection, both viral and bacterial, is rampant in the city because of the rainy season. Rain water entering the eyes can cause conjunctiv­itis infection.”

The common symptoms are redness, itchiness, swelling, sticky discharge from the eye, tearing and sensitivit­y to light also known as ‘photophobi­a’.

Dr Rajalingam said that 80 per cent of the infections were due to adenovirus, which spreads fast, and the rest 20 per cent were bacterial infections. The most affected are from the under-10 age-group.

“It is critically important for all the people who have been infected with the pink eye to see a doctor because if left untreated, it could lead to complicati­ons of the cornea such as keratoconj­unctivitis and result in loss of vision”,

cautioned Dr Rajalingam.

Dr Muralidhar Ramappa, cornea consultant, said that at least 1, 000 cases were reported in the last two weeks across various centres. “The increased humidity and dampness activate bacteria and viruses. Most of these infections are contagious. We are getting more patients with ‘pharyngo-conjunctiv­al-fever’ (PCF), which is a sore throat with conjunctiv­itis. It is commonly seen in children and young adults who recently had a cold or respirator­y infection. Advanced conjunctiv­itis known as epidemic keratoconj­unctivitis can

be severe and may cause vision difficulti­es”, said Dr Ramappa.

It normally takes about 810 days for a person to recover with proper care and medication. Dr Suresh Kumar Panuganti, lead consultant, pediatric critical care, in a leading private hospital said that schools must take precaution­s as children are most vulnerable.

“Infection spreads through direct and indirect contact with the infected persons. It is a myth that one can get the infection merely by looking at the eyes of an infected person. The infection gets transmitte­d

in a number of ways like use of common napkins, bed sheets, towels, phones and surfaces that have been touched by conjunctiv­itis patients. It is therefore important to follow hand hygiene. It is also advisable to practice distancing and isolation to avoid further spread of the infection,” said Dr Suresh Kumar.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India