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Doctors keep an eye out for conjunctivitis cases in Bengaluru

Doctors suggest good hand hygiene practise and avoiding sending symptomatic children to school to prevent disease spread. 
Last Updated : 28 July 2023, 09:59 IST
Last Updated : 28 July 2023, 09:59 IST
Last Updated : 28 July 2023, 09:59 IST
Last Updated : 28 July 2023, 09:59 IST

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Conjunctivitis cases have sharply risen in Bengaluru over the past three to four weeks, with doctors reporting a higher number and severity of cases.

While the rise in cases was expected this season, the numbers are much higher than usual. These are viral infections largely caused by adenovirus, and the variations this time could be due to some mutation in the virus, doctors said.

Dr Anand Balasubramaniam, opthalmologist at Sankara Eye Hospital, said that patient numbers have increased by about 50 per cent over the past three weeks, but 90 per cent of patients recover in a week.

Though the disease resolves naturally for most, consulting a doctor early is important, Dr Rohith Shetty, chairman of Narayana Nethralaya, said. The hospital gets about 100 conjunctivitis patients a day across its four centres, of whom 35-40 per cent are children.

"Since ours is a tertiary hospital that gets referred cases, over a quarter of the patients have aggressive conjunctivitis, which may also require aggressive treatments like steroids. In three to six per cent of cases, we see dotted scars on the cornea, ulcers, etc, and the patient may take six months to one year to recover," Dr Shetty said.

Patients with certain conditions like allergies, asthma and dry eyes and those who use contact lenses are more vulnerable to developing aggressive conjunctivitis, he added.

Dr Sujatha Rathod, Director of Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, said that about 20 per cent of the patients coming to the hospital now have conjunctivitis. "Patients feel a dull pain and heaviness in the eyes. We see more redness and discomfort among younger patients."

Doctors suggest good hand hygiene practise and avoiding sending symptomatic children to school to prevent disease spread.

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Published 27 July 2023, 19:10 IST

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