TANZANIA—The Ministry of Health has asked the public to take precautions in response to the spread of red eye disease, according to a local daily, Daily News.
Pascal Ruggajo, head of Curative Services in the country’s Ministry of Health, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that preliminary investigations have revealed that the disease has infected the majority of people in the country.
Prof Ruggajo highlighted that this condition known as conjunctivitis has spread to Dar es Salaam, the Coast, and Dodoma areas.
Additionally, between December 22, 2023 and January 11, 2024, he claimed, there were 869 individuals in Dar es Salaam with red eye disease.
He asked individuals to take several precautions, such as avoiding touching their eyes with their hands, washing their hands with clean water and soap, and keeping overall cleanliness to help prevent the sickness from spreading further.
He pointed out that there is no specific cure for the ailment, which normally resolves between two to six weeks, depending on the individual, and encouraged people not to use untested treatments to avoid problems.
He emphasized that the government is closely monitoring the rise of this disease and continues to offer warnings, stressing that citizens should pay attention to hygienic measures, such as avoiding contact when sneezing, touching the eyes, and washing with running water and soap.
According to Prof Lugajo, reports from Dar es Salaam, Coast, and Dodoma regions have already been received.
Dar es Salaam has seen a surge in new patients, with 869 instances compared to 17 in December of last year.
Prof Lugajo also highlighted the quickly spreading disease’s symptoms, which include red, itchy, and burning eyes, swelling, light sensitivity, and the presence of white or yellow discharge.
Meanwhile, he mentioned that some people may develop additional symptoms like severe headaches, excessive exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck.
Recently, social media platforms disseminated allegations about the presence of red-eye disease, prompting locals to fear. However, no deaths from this condition have been reported so far.
Red eye is a frequent disease that can arise in one or both eyes and is connected with allergies, blepharitis, pink eye (conjunctivitis), dry eyes, eye damage, and glaucoma.
The redness is caused by blood vessels on the eye’s surface that expand or dilate due to irritation or disease.