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Conjunctivitis cases on the rise |24 April 2015

A total of 873 conjunctivitis cases have been reported over the past four weeks and the Disease Surveillance & Response Unit of the Public Health Authority within the Ministry of Health has been closely monitoring the situation.

In a communiqué released yesterday, the Ministry of Health writes that the 873 cases were reported between March 23 and April 19. For the week April 13-19 a total of 314 new cases were reported compared to 223 cases for the previous week.

Conjunctivitis, also known as malad lizye in Creole, is an inflammation of the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids and the white part of the eye (the sclera). It can be caused by viral infections, bacterial infections and allergic reactions. It is most commonly caused by the same virus that causes the common cold.

Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis can be very contagious, and both are easily spread through contact with nose or eye secretions, usually through hand-to-eye contact.

People attending forthcoming major events in Victoria where large crowds will be present are being asked to take extra precaution due to the high contagious nature of conjunctivitis.




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