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MOH issues alert over red eye disease

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The Ministry of Health has issued a public health alert over the spread of Conjunctivitis commonly known as red eye disease.

While sensitizing the public on the outbreak, Director General for Health, Patrick Amoth said the disease has become rampant in the Coastal region especially in Malindi, Lamu and Mombasa and presents symptoms of red watery eyes.

“The disease is most likely due to Adenovirus (epidemic serotype) which spreads very fast but rarely does it cause long term complications to the eye,” said Amoth.

He further said the disease is usually spread by touching eyes of infected persons or contaminated surfaces then touching one’s eyes but there is no cause for alarm since it is usually self-limiting.

“To prevent this, one should wash their hands regularly and keep them off their face, avoid sharing towels with affected persons and disinfect high touch surfaces especially if a family member is affected,” he added.

MOH has said affected persons should take time off work or school to reduce spread, avoid self-medication and if one is having mild symptoms, it is advisable to apply a cold compress over the eyes with a wet face towel.

Those experiencing severe symptoms which include redness, discharge, swelling and or bleeding have been urged to seek immediate medical attention.

Some few cases of red eye disease have been reported in other parts of the country with Kisii and Nairobi Counties recording one and three cases respectively.

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