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Conjunctivitis cases on the rise,NIV scientists to check for outbreak

Disease is self limiting but the symptoms may last for nearly two weeks.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
November 21, 2013 5:56:24 am

With several doctors in the city reporting a rise in the number of conjunctivitis cases,National Institute of Virology (NIV) scientists will collect samples for tests to confirm an outbreak.

Dr Shobha Chitambar,scientist at the enteric virus department,said samples will determine the strains in circulation. “We have to detect the causative agent and arrive at a conclusion whether it is an outbreak or not,” said Chitambar.

Dr Salil Gadkari,Vice-President,Maharashtra Ophthalmology Society,said he examines at least two to three cases of viral conjunctivitis daily. The disease is self limiting but the symptoms may last for nearly two weeks,he added.

Dr Parikshit Gogate,ophthalmologist,said the disease is mild but the eye can look unusually red. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a viral infection such as cold,acute respiratory infection,or diseases such as measles or herpes. Symptoms include mild to severe discomfort in one or both eyes,he added.

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Gogate said conjunctivitis is basically an inflammation of the lining of the white part of the eye and underside of the eyelid that can be caused by infection or allergic reaction. Viral or bacterial conjunctivitis is infectious but not allergic conjunctivitis,he added. “We are seeing both type of cases,” said Gogate.

Dr Sharad Agharkhedkar,paediatrician,D Y Patil Hospital in Pimpri said there have been cases of viral conjunctivitis among children.

Dr Dilip Sarda,president elect,Indian Medical Association,Maharashtra unit,said normally there are several cases of conjunctivitis during monsoon. However,we have noticed a trend where the change in season brings about new viral infections,he added.

Dr Avinash Bhondwe,former president,IMA pointed out that it was unusual to see a rise in the number of conjunctivitis cases. It is more a phenomenon of winter catarrh affecting the eyes,he added.

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