Conjunctivitis cases are on the rise in Tamil Nadu with around 4,000-4,500 infections being reported every day across the state since the start of northeast monsoon. Health Minister M Subramanian has appealed to the people to isolate themselves if they are infected with the highly contagious eye infection commonly known as ‘Madras Eye’.
“Since the start of the northeast monsoon, nearly 1.5 lakh people have been treated for conjunctivitis in Tamil Nadu. At least 80-100 people are diagnosed with conjunctivitis every day in Chennai’s 10 government ophthalmic centres. The case load is higher in districts such as Salem and Dharmapuri,” said Subramanian, as per Hindustan Times.
The state health department has warned people of increasing cases of conjunctivitis. Redness of eyes and a watery, yellow/white discharge, besides pain around the eyes are some common symptoms of conjunctivitis. Several hospitals in the state have witnessed an increase in patients with conjunctivitis symptoms.
A senior ophthalmologist said nearly 90% of all conjunctivitis is caused by adenovirus and added every year, cases of conjunctivitis show a mild surge as the monsoon season comes to a close.
“This year the prolonged rainfall in the city has further increased the case load. Nearly 90% of all conjunctivitis is caused by adenovirus. The affected eye is red, itchy, irritated and gritty, and produces a watery discharge similar to tears. In some people, it quickly spreads to the second eye. It is rising rapidly especially among children,” said Dr Srinivasan G Rao, senior ophthalmologist and regional head, Clinical Services of the Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital in Chennai.
Conjunctivitis spreads through secretions from the eye and is often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. “If a person touches his/her eye, they can pass on the infective virus or bacteria to another person or object that comes in contact with the secretion,” he added, HT reported.
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