Here is how to stop the spread of red eyes

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a total of 790 cases of Conjunctivitis (red eyes disease) cumulatively diagnosed in the affected schools and prison facilities in

This outbreak has been identified in several schools in Uganda’s capital, Kampala and eight prison facilities with affected divisions of Nakawa and Rubaga within Kampala district.

According to Dr Daniel Kyabayinze from the Ministry of Health, the affected prisons include Luzira Upper Prison, Murchison Bay Prison, Kassanda Prison Kaweeri Prison, Lira Main prison among others.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer covering the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants. To avoid conjunctivitis, it’s essential to follow good hygiene practices and take preventative measures. Here’s a detailed guide on what you can do:

  1. Frequent handwashing: One of the most effective ways to prevent conjunctivitis is by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after touching your eyes, face, or any potentially contaminated surfaces. Hand hygiene helps reduce the risk of transferring infectious agents to your eyes.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes: Touching your eyes with unwashed hands can introduce bacteria or viruses into your eyes, increasing the risk of conjunctivitis. Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes unnecessarily, especially if your hands are not clean.
  3. Avoid sharing personal items: Conjunctivitis can spread through sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, makeup, or eye drops. Avoid sharing these items with others to prevent the transmission of infectious agents.
  4. Practice good contact lens hygiene: If you wear contact lenses, it’s crucial to follow proper hygiene practices to reduce the risk of conjunctivitis. Clean and disinfect your contact lenses as recommended by your eye care professional, and avoid wearing them overnight or for extended periods.
  5. Replace eye makeup regularly: Eye makeup, such as mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow, can harbor bacteria and other pathogens if not replaced regularly. Replace eye makeup products every few months to minimize the risk of infection.
  6. Avoid allergens: Allergic conjunctivitis can be triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold. Minimize exposure to known allergens by keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, using air purifiers, and regularly cleaning your living space.
  7. Practice good hygiene in public spaces: When using public facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, or shared bathrooms, take precautions to avoid exposure to potentially contaminated surfaces. Avoid touching your eyes with your hands while in public spaces and consider wearing protective eyewear if necessary.
  8. Seek medical attention promptly: If you experience symptoms of conjunctivitis, such as redness, itching, burning, discharge, or sensitivity to light, seek medical attention promptly. Depending on the cause of conjunctivitis, your healthcare provider may recommend appropriate treatment, such as antiviral or antibiotic medications.
  9. Follow treatment guidelines: If you are diagnosed with conjunctivitis, follow your healthcare provider’s treatment guidelines carefully. Complete the full course of medication as prescribed, even if your symptoms improve before the medication is finished, to ensure the infection is fully cleared.
  10. Practice social distancing during outbreaks: During outbreaks of infectious conjunctivitis, such as viral or bacterial epidemics, practice social distancing and avoid close contact with individuals who are infected or showing symptoms to reduce the risk of transmission.

By following these measures, you can reduce your risk of developing conjunctivitis and help maintain good eye health. If you have specific concerns or are experiencing symptoms, consult with an eye care professional for personalized advice and treatment.


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