Conjunctivitis (pink eye) sees a spike in cases in Vietnam, India and Pakistan

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(Image Credit: AdobeStock/Alessandro Grandini)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/Alessandro Grandini)

Vietnam, India and Pakistan have seen increased cases of conjunctivitis (pink eye) reported, not only in children but adults as well.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam have seen increased cases, posing the risk of an epidemic according to Quynh Anh Luu, ThS.BS, Deputy Head of the National Children Hospital’s Department of Ophthalmology.1

Luu warned of “abnormal increase in the cases of pink eye” with many children infected with the disease having dangerous complications.1 According to Luu, in August, the Hospital's Ophthalmology Department continuously received over 50 pediatric patients a day with acute conjunctivitis; with 20% of the cases having severe complications.1

On top of pink eye, the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital has received many children for examination of refractive errors in the last months, according to Luu. A surge of 20-30% of children was seen who came to the hospital to have had their refractive errors examined when compared to usual.1

Nguyen Thanh Luan, from the University Medical Center in HCMC’s Department of Ophthalmology stated there has been an escalation in the number of cases of pink eye at the hospital, adding doctors examine 15-20 cases on average in each shift whereas before it was only a few cases.1

The Sindh Health Department has also issued a directive to District Health Officers (DHOs) in response to the escalating prevalence of conjunctivitis in Karachi, Pakistan and other metropolitan regions of the province.2

The health department has recommended affected individuals promptly utilize prescribed eye drops and gently cleanse their eyes with tissues.

In India, over 38,000 cases of conjunctivitis were reported in Himachal Pradesh in August, according to the state’s Health Department.3 Just recently, Longding district administration in Arunachal Pradesh ordered temporary closure of schools in Kanubari sub-division following an outbreak of conjunctivitis.4 While northeastern state of Nagaland closed schools in the state due to a surge in cases.5

Directorate of Education (Schools) Manipur issued an advisory in the wake of the viral conjunctivitis outbreak in the state.6 According to the circular released by L Nandakumar Singh, Director of Education-Schools Manipur, if 1 or 2 students are infected with conjunctivitis in a school, the infected student may be given leave for 10 days. If 3 or more students are infected in a class in school, then the whole class may be closed for 10 days. If 3 or more students are infected in 3 or more different classes, the school may be closed for 10 days.

References:
  1. Pink eye likely to be epidemic. Saigon Giai Phong News. September 5, 2023. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://en.sggp.org.vn/pink-eye-likely-to-be-epidemic-post104764.html
  2. Sindh Issues Warning to Control Pink Eye Infection Outbreak in Karachi. Bnn. September 5, 2023. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://bnn.network/breaking-news/health/sindh-issues-warning-to-control-pink-eye-infection-outbreak-in-karachi/
  3. Over 38,000 Conjunctivitis Cases Reported In Himachal Pradesh In August. Press Trust of India. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://swachhindia.ndtv.com/over-38000-conjunctivitis-cases-reported-in-himachal-pradesh-in-august-81953/
  4. Administration Order Closure Of Schools Following Outbreak Of Conjunctivitis. Outlook India. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/administration-order-closure-of-schools-following-outbreak-of-conjunctivitis-news-305206
  5. Schools closed in India amid rising cases of eye flu. The News Guru. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://thenewsguru.com/news/india-schools/
  6. DIR, Education (S) Manipur Issues Circular To Schools On Viral Conjunctivitis. Ukhrul Times. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://ukhrultimes.com/dir-education-s-manipur-issues-circular-to-schools-on-viral-conjunctivitis/
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