Home NEWS Local News Health experts urge caution in the wake of increased cases of Conjunctivitis

Health experts urge caution in the wake of increased cases of Conjunctivitis


The County Government of Mombasa has urged residents to prioritize hygiene measures as the county deals with increased cases of Conjunctivitis, commonly known as the Red Eye.

The alert comes after over 1000 cases of ‘the red eye infection’ were recorded in Mombasa County, prompting the county health department to issue an alert to area residents.

Mombasa County director of public health and disease prevention Dr. Salma Swaleh says the County has recorded over 150 incidences of the highly contagious and infectious disease in various public and private health facilities in the last two weeks.

Dr. Swaleh urging residents to report any cases of the disease which presents itself with symptoms such as eye pain, swelling, redness, itchiness and eye discharge to the nearest health facility within the County.

She also called on parents to keep an eye on school going children noting that if any of the symptoms occur they should restrain them from going to school.

“A lot of reports have been coming from schools and madrassas where ideally children have been the most affected. We urge parents not to take their children to school in the event they notice symptoms of this contagious disease” said Dr. Swaleh.

She further urged residents to prioritize hygiene measures as the ideal way to curb the fast spreading disease with includes proper sanitation in living quarters, hand washing, use of sanitizers, disinfecting surfaces and avoiding crowded areas for people already infected.

The disease can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants, and is characterized by symptoms such as eye pain, swelling, redness, itchiness, and eye discharge.

County consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. Nadya Mustafa said the health department is at hand to assist and recommend remedies which will include acceptable home remedies coupled with prescriptions and medical advice from certified health practitioners.

“We have acceptable home remedies which include warm and cold compresses with towels over the red and swollen eyes and in the event symptoms persist one should immediately visit a health facility for treatment” said Dr. Mustafa.

In neighbouring Kilifi County, health officials have also issued a notice to residents urging them to wash hands with soap and water.

They have also urged locals to avoid touching or rubbing their eyes, refrain from sharing personal items, and to temporarily stop using contact lenses until approved by an eye doctor.

Kilifi Health CEC Peter Mwarogo has however underscored that there is no cause for alarm as the county has previously recorded cases of red eye infections.

The outbreak, which was first reported in Tanzania in December, seems to be spreading fast to other areas in the coastal line.

Tanzania has recorded an upsurge in the last three weeks with over 800 cases in Dar-es-Salaam.

On Monday, neighboring Tanzania health authorities issued a health alert over the outbreak.