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Conjunctivitis spreads across country

People are worried as conjunctivitis has spread massively across the country, including in Dhaka city, and many schools have also been closed due to transmission of the eye disease.

However, ophthalmologists said there is nothing to be worried about conjunctivitis as the disease is easily curable and not so much harmful.They also suggested that the infected person stay away from others and use separate and clean clothes and sunglasses.

Ophthalmologists and hospital sources said the number of patients affected by conjunctivitis has increased at different places across the country for around a week.

“Over one hundred patients suffering from conjunctivitis are coming to the Outpatient Department (OPD) of our hospital daily. Many of the hospital staffs have also been affected by the disease currently,” Dr Golam Mushfiqur, an ophthalmologist at National Institute of Ophthalmology (NIO), told the Daily Sun.

Mentioning that patients are being found infected with viral and allergic conjunctivitis in the country, he said there is nothing to be worried about the disease as the disease is easily curable.

Golam Mushfiqur, also former acting assistant director of the NIO, said wearing glasses and maintaining social distance can be the good preventives measures to check conjunctivitis disease.

“Using some drops or ointment can keep the eye of the conjunctivitis affected patient fresh and cure the disease easily,” he said.

Amid the increase in the number of the conjunctivitis patients, the authorities concerned of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) on September 27 requested people suffering from conjunctivitis not to travel within seven days of being infected with the disease.

The airport authorities issued the notice for safety reasonsafter observing the presence of people infected with conjunctivitis outside the airport.

As conjunctivitis is deemed to be extremely contagious, airlines have been refusing to allow patients with an inflamed eye to board flights recently, which has been creating confusion and chaos at the airport.

The highly contagious conjunctivitis is spreading fast, prompting many schools and madrasahs authorities to shut down the educational institutions.

Children are also seen to be infected mostly in the eye disease making the guardians concerned while many of them are afraid of sending their children to schools.

According to US CDC, conjunctivitis can result from many causes, including viruses, bacteria, allergens, contact lens use, chemicals, fungi, and certain diseases.

It said viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. Most viruses that cause conjunctivitis spread through hand-to-eye contact by hands or objects that are contaminated with the infectious virus.

The US CDC also suggested washing hands frequently, using separate towels, and avoiding close contact with others during the period of contagion to prevent transmission of the disease.

“Depending on the cause of viral conjunctivitis, some patients may have additional symptoms or conditions, such as common cold, flu, or other respiratory infection,” it added.

Faridpur Civil Surgeon office sources said more than 300 patients receive treatment for infection at Faridpur Sadar Hospital every day.

The highly contagious conjunctivitis is spreading fast, prompting school and madrasa authorities to shut down educational institutions till the situation improves in the district area, the sources added.