KENYA—The Mombasa County government has advised residents to emphasize hygienic habits as the county deals with an increase in occurrences of Conjunctivitis, also known as red eye.

The County Department of Health Services published a statement stressing the frightening infection rates, which follow a similar spike observed in neighboring Tanzania.

Earlier last week, Prof Lugajo, head of Curative Services in the country’s Ministry of Health in Tanzania, reported an increase in red eye cases in the Dar es Salaam, Coast, and Dodoma areas.

Dar es Salaam had seen a spike in new patients, with 869 cases compared to 17 in December previous year.

In response to the increasing issue, authorities advise citizens to practice stringent hygiene.

This entails washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching or rubbing one’s eyes or face, and not sharing personal objects such as towels, pillowcases, eye drops, or makeup.

The advisory emphasizes the contagious aspect of red eye, highlighting the significance of covering the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing, properly disposing of tissues, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and wearing sunglasses to reduce further eye discomfort.

Residents with symptoms such as redness, itching, blurred vision, or eye discharge should seek medical assistance immediately.

These preventative steps are intended to reduce the spread of conjunctivitis and protect Mombasa County citizens’ health during this high-risk time of infection.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis include eye pain, swelling, redness, itching, and discharge.

According to health professionals, the most prevalent causes are viruses, germs, and allergies, but chemicals, foreign bodies in the eye, such as loose eyelashes, and indoor and outdoor air pollution caused by smoke, dust, fumes, or chemical vapors are also factors.

The disease usually affects both eyes and causes them to be red, burn, or feel gritty, as well as produce pus that attaches to lashes, itch, or become watery, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that determining the specific cause of conjunctivitis can be challenging because some symptoms may be similar regardless of the source.

While it is not communicable, according to the CDC, it is more common in those who have other allergy disorders such as hay fever, asthma, or eczema.

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