Conjunctivitis Spike in India: Why You Should Be Worried
Preventing the Pink Eye Surge: Essential Practices to Safeguard Against the Widespread Conjunctivitis Outbreak
Recent months have seen an alarming surge in the number of conjunctivitis cases, commonly known as pink eye, across the length and breadth of India. Medical experts have reported an increase in pink eye cases three to four times higher than in previous years, ringing alarm bells among healthcare professionals and communities alike.
The nation's capital, Delhi, has been particularly hard hit, recording hundreds of new conjunctivitis cases each day. The sudden surge is being attributed to the city's current weather conditions, which feature high humidity levels and water logging. These factors create an ideal environment for the viruses and bacteria that cause conjunctivitis to spread and thrive.
While conjunctivitis is highly contagious, it's essential to dispel common myths around how it is transmitted. Contrary to popular belief, the infection cannot spread by merely looking into the eye of an infected individual.
So, how does it spread? Direct contact with an infected person, especially through hand to eye contact, can transmit the infection. In other words, if a person with conjunctivitis touches their eye and then touches another object, the virus or bacteria can be passed on to the next person who comes in contact with that object and subsequently touches their eyes.
Conjunctivitis manifests as red, itchy eyes often accompanied by a sticky discharge. The infection, though not typically serious, can cause significant discomfort and inconvenience to affected individuals. To protect oneself and prevent the spread, several preventive measures can be adopted.
Practising regular face washing can help keep the infection at bay. Reducing the frequency of touching the eyes can significantly lower the risk of contracting the infection. Maintaining hygienic surroundings is a key preventive measure as the virus and bacteria thrive in unclean conditions. Moreover, sharing personal items such as sunglasses and handkerchiefs can easily spread the infection, hence, should be avoided.
As the conjunctivitis outbreak spreads, it's making a significant impact on everyday life. In some parts of the country, schools have been forced to close temporarily to curb the spread of the infection, particularly among children. This measure has been implemented especially in regions like Delhi, Nagpur, Gujarat, and the northeastern states, where the infection rates are at a peak.
The conjunctivitis surge underscores the vital need for personal hygiene and health vigilance. As containment efforts proceed, individuals can help by adopting preventive measures and seeking prompt medical attention for symptoms.